NEW TALES OF OLD ROME
AUTHOR OF "ANCIENT ROME IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT DISCOVERIES" " PAGAN ANT)
CHRISTIAN ROME" "THE RUINS AND EXCAVATIONS OF ANCIENT ROME"
"THE DESTRUCTION OF ANCIENT ROME" ETC.
MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD.
DEAR PRINCIPAL DONALDSON :
I TAKE the liberty of inscribing your name to this vol-
ume in grateful remembrance of the hospitality I have
enjoyed in the University of St. Andrews, as Gifford lec-
turer for 1899-1900. The volume contains those parts
only of my lectures which refer to recent archaeological and
historical research in Home, and which have not appeared
in my previous publications.
ROME, July 1, 1901.
To JAMES DONALDSON, M. A., LL. D.,
Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of St. Andrews.
But I will sing above all moniments
Seven Romane hils, the world's seven Wonderments.
i. THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM 1
n. THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA 53
in. THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES 92
iv. THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL .... 132
v. STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME 175
vi. JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME 215
vn. ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME 260
viii. SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME . 299
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
POSITIONS OF THE BLACK STONE, THE ARCH OF SEVERUS, AND
THE COLUMN OF PHOCAS (from an aerial photograph taken by
Captain Moris, R. E., June, 1899) .... Frontispiece
THE REMAINS OF THE ARCH OF AUGUSTUS .... 3
THE PAVEMENT OF THE COMITIUM 41
THE FOUNTAIN OF CAMPO VACCINO 45
PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE VESTALS, TIME OF SEPTIMIUS
SEVERUS (built over the Domus Publica of the time of Augustus.
From an aerial photograph by Captain Moris, R. E.) . . 54
THE SHRINE OF VESTA . 59
THE TEMPLE OF CAESAR AND ITS SURROUNDINGS (from an aerial
photograph taken by Captain Moris, R. E.) ... 81
THE MONTE DELLO SERPENTE, AVENTINE 129
THE WEST COLONNADE OF BASILICA JULIA, FROM THE Vicus
JUGARIUS . 135
THE EXCAVATIONS OF THE BASILICA ^EMILIA .... 139
THE PLACE WHERE ST. PAUL WAS EXECUTED . . . 157
THE BACCHUS DISCOVERED IN THE BARRACKS OF THE EQUITES
THE TEMPLE OF CYBELE ON THE PALATINE .... 183
THE VENUS CLOTHO 189
THE VENUS LAMIANA 223
A BIRD'S-EYE SURVEY OF THE CLIVUS SACRJE VLE (taken by
Captain Moris, R. E., from a balloon at a height of 1200 feet) 235
CHAIR IN THE SYNAGOGUE OF MODERN ROME . . . 245
viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE VENUS GENETRIX BY ABKESILAOS 261
OLDEST EXISTING VIEW OF THE FACADE OF ST. PETER'S (from
a sketch of the eleventh century in Cod. 124 of the Eton
THE BORGO, TIME OF ALEXANDER VI 268
POPE INNOCENT XI 289
THE LAGO DI PIAZZA NAVONA 316
CENOTAPH OF THE STUARTS THE MOURNING ANGEL . . 327
ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT
THE LAPIS NIGER OR BLACK STONE 7
PLAN OF THE HEROON OF ROMULUS UNDER THE FLOOR OF
BLACK STONES 9
THE HEROON OF ROMULUS : A VIEW TAKEN UNDER THE FLOOR
OF BLACK STONES, SHOWING THE RELATIVE POSITIONS OF
LIONS, PILLAR, AND STELE 11
FIGURINES, PROBABLY REPRESENTING HUMAN VICTIMS . .15
A VOTIVE TERRACOTTA PANEL 17
FRAGMENT OF A CHALCIDIAN AMPHORA 19
THE NEWLY FOUND BASE OF THE JULIAN PlLLAR . . .20
THE STELE OR INSCRIBED PYRAMID (GENERAL VIEW) . . 21
THE STELE OF THE COMITIUM (DETAILS OF THE EAST FACE) . 23
THE VOTIVE VASE OF DVENOS 27
PEDESTAL OF THE EAST LION 29
MARBLES DISCOVERED IN THE VILLA OF MAXENTIUS AT S.
THE BRONZE WOLF 35
THE WOLF IN THE COINS OF P. SATRIENUS .... 37
AN EXECUTION "AT THE WOLF," A. D. 1348 (from a painting
formerly in the Clementine transept, at the Lateran) . . 39
THE MARFORIO 43
PASQUINO . . . 48
THE FOUNTAIN OF THE COMITIUM . 49
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ix
PLAN OF THE REGIA OF THE TIME OF THE FLAVIANS, BUILT
OVER THE OLD FOUNDATIONS OF THE TIME OF THE KINGS. 57
MEDALS OF DEVOTION OF THE SIXTH CENTURY, COMMEMORA-
TIVE OF THE CONSECRATION TO GOD OF BOYS AND GIRLS,
AND OF THEIR VOWS OF CHASTITY PRONOUNCED AT THE
GRAVE OF ST. LAWRENCE 65
THE REGIA, FROM THE SACRA VIA 67
FRAGMENTS OF THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE REGIA . . 70
FRAGMENTS OF A FRIEZE, PROBABLY OF THE REGIA . . .71
REMAINS OF A MEDIEVAL BUILDING OCCUPYING PART OF THE
BASILICA ^EMILIA (where an important fragment of the Fasti
has been found, used as a threshold at the point marked A) 73
THE ENTRANCE TO THE REGIA, FROM THE EAST . . .74
THE REGIA (from a sketch taken in 1566, by Pirro Ligorio) . 75
THE REGIA, FROM THE WEST 77
THE EXACT PLACE WHERE THE BODY OF CESAR WAS CRE-
THE CLIVUS SACRJE VIM OF THE TIME OF DOMITIAN, DISCOV-
ERED JUNE, 1899 87
THE VALLEY OF THE ANIO NEAR ROCCAGIOVINE ... 93
THE CLIFFS OF VEII AT THE PONTE SODO 97
THE PlANELLA DI CASSIO NEAR TlVOLI 99
THE MOTTO " KNOW THYSELF " IN A MOSAIC FLOOR IN A
TOMB OF THE APPIAN WAY 101
THE VIGNA CECCARELLI, THE FORMER SEAT OF THE ARVALES 104
THE TEMPLE OF THE DEA DIA RESTORED .... 105
THE HEAD OF AUGUSTUS AS FRATER ARVALIS .... 106
THE WEST WING OF MICHELANGELO'S CLOISTERS . . . 107
Two SPECIMENS OF THE ACTA ARVALIUM OF THE FIRST AND
THIRD CENTURIES 109
THE CHURCH OF S. MARINA AT ARDEA .... Ill
THE CAMPANILE OF CASTEL S. PIETRO ABOVE PALESTRINA
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING 113
x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
A WAYSIDE SHRINE 115
THE GOOD SHEPHEKD WITH THE SVASTIKA . 117
THE SACRED GROVE OF ANNIA REGILLA . 121
A PICTURESQUE CORNER IN THE NEW PASSEGGIATA DEL GIAN-
ICOLO ........ . 123
TASSO'S OAK BY S. ONOFRIO . . 125
THE YOUNG HERCULES STRANGLING THE SERPENT . . 126
THE JUNO LANUVINA . . 127
SITE OF BASILICA EMILIA BEFORE EXCAVATION . 137
THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH OF HONORIUS AT ST. PAUL'S . . 141
THE BASILICA PAULI APOSTOLI, DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1823 . 143
A " CANDELIERA " OR MARBLE PILASTER OF THE BASILICA
EMILIA . 147
A MARBLE PANEL FROM THE BASILICA EMILIA . . . 149
THE OLDEST KNOWN VIEW OF THE RUINS OF THE FORUM (now
in the Escurial) ... 151
THE ROAD BY WHICH ST. PAUL APPROACHED ROME . . 155
PORTRAIT BUST OF SENECA 161
THE VIA APPIA BY THE SO-CALLED TOMB OF SENECA . . 163
A VIEW OF THE TOMB AND CANOPY OF ST. PAUL . . . 167
THE VIA OSTIENSIS FLOODED BY THE TIBER .... 170
THE NEW FAADE OF ST. PAUL'S 173
A STATUETTE OF EPONA DISCOVERED AT ALBANO . . . 181
CYBELE'S ARRIVAL IN ROME FROM PESSINUS (from a terracotta
bas-relief formerly in the possession of G. B. Guidi) . . 187
THE STATUE OF ATYS FOUND AT OSTIA . . . . 191
THE MITHRIAC BAS-RELIEF IN THE CAVE OF THE CAPITOL . 195
THE LODGE DISCOVERED IN 1870, UNDER THE CHURCH OF S.
THE CLIFFS OF THE CAPITOLINE HILL, SOUTH FACE . . 199
THE LION CUT BY FLAMINIO VACCA OUT OF A BLOCK OF PEN-
TELIC MARBLE FROM THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER . . 201
THE LAKE OF NEMI, WITH THE SECOND SHIP OUTLINED BY MEANS
OF FLOATERS .... . 205
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. xi
ONE OF THE MOORING-RINGS OF THE FlRST SHIP . . . 207
ANOTHER MOORING-RING OF THE FIRST SHIP .... 208
THE MEDUSA'S HEAD FROM THE FIRST SHIP .... 209
PLAN OF THE FIRST VESSEL (from Captain Malfatti's Survey) . 211
SOME OF THE DECORATIONS OF THE FIRST SHIP (from Malfatti's
photograph) ....... . 212
TIMBER FROM THE FRAME OF THE FIRST SHIP, LANDED NEAR
THE " CASA DEL PESCATORE " 213
THE SARCOPHAGUS OF THE MACCABEES 216
PLAN OF THE LAMIAN GARDENS 219
ONE OF THE TRITONS DISCOVERED DECEMBER 24, 1874, NEAR
NORTHERN END OF GALLERY IN THE LAMIAN GARDENS 221
THE MAGIC GATE OF THE PALOMBARA GARDENS (now in the
Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele on the Esquiline) . . . 228
THE ARCH OF TITUS BEFORE ITS RESTORATION . . . 229
THE MONUMENTAL COLUMNS ON THE SACRA VIA . . . 233
THE GANYMEDE OF LEOCHARES: A LATE REPLICA DISCOVERED
AT FALLERONE 239
THE TRASTEVERE IN THE MIDDLE AGES (from a sketch now in
the library of the Escurial) 243
THE JEWISH CEMETERY AT THE CIRCUS MAXIMUS AS SEEN FROM
THE AVENTINE . 249
A WINDOW OF THE PIERLEONI HOUSE, VIA DI PORTA LEONE 251
THE TOMB OF THE GREAT PIERLEONE IN THE CLOISTERS OF ST.
THE GHETTO AT THE TIME OF PAUL V. (from a contemporary
engraving) . . . 255
VANISHED ROME : A STREET SCENE IN THE OLD GHETTO . 257
THE CONQUEST OF BRITAIN IN THE INSCRIPTION OF CLAUDIUS 263
THE PALAZZO DELLA CANCELLERIA: BUILT WITH THE COLUMNS
AND MARBLES OF THE BARRACKS OF THE " GREENS "
(FACTIO PRASINA) 273
A TYPICAL ROMAN HOSTELRY . . . 275
xil LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE ENGLISH PALACE IN ROME (now Giraud-Torlonia) . . 279
ALEXANDER VI. (from a fresco in the Sale Borgia) . . . 281
THE CENOTAPH OF ALEXANDER VI. IN THE CRYPT OF ST.
THE PALAZZO PAMPHILI IN THE PIAZZA NAVONA . . . 286
THE BARBERINI PALACE 287
THE CHURCH OF S. GREGORIO 293
ST. AUGUSTINE LEAVING ROME FOR ENGLAND (from a fresco
at the Monte Oliveto Maggiore) 294
THE TOMB OF CARDINAL ADAM OF HERTFORD .... 297
A VIEW OF HADRIAN'S VILLA EXCAVATED BY HAMILTON . 305
BUST OF CN^EUS DOMITIUS CORBULO 308
THE CHURCH OF S. FLAVIANO IN THE VILLAGE OF MONTEFI-
THE CATAFALQUE RAISED IN THE CHURCH OF SS. APOSTOLI FOR
THE FUNERAL OF JAMES III 313
THE SACRE GROTTE VATICANE 314
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF CARDINAL YORK, FRASCATI . 319
THE VILLA CONTI AT FRASCATI, FOR SOME TIME THE RESIDENCE
OF CARDINAL YORK 321
THE VIA TRIUMPHALIS LEADING TO THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER
ON THE MONS ALBANUS 322
A VIEW OF THE MONTE CAVO 323
A VIEW OF THE ROMAN WALL IN NORTHUMBERLAND . . 324
THE GATE OF THE VILLA MILLS ON THE PALATINE, WITH THE
EMBLEM OF THE THISTLE . . . 325
NEW TALES OF OLD ROME.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
A DISCOVERY made on the borderline between the Co-
mitium and the Forum, on June 15, 1899, has set the
archaeological world astir, and given rise to a much debated
controversy. To make the matter clear to the reader, I
must go back to the very beginning of the present campaign
of exploration, which will remain memorable forever in the
archaeological records of Rome.
The reason why the exploration has proved so successful
must be found in the fact that former excavations those
included in which I have had a personal share, since 1871
have seldom reached the deepest levels. As soon as a
paving-stone, or a brick or marble floor was found, whether
imperial, or Byzantine, or mediaeval, it did not matter, we
were made to stop, without trying to ascertain whether older
and more important relics were concealed in the lower strata.
I do not mean to say that the surface ruins ought to be
sacrificed to the requirements of a deeper exploration, be-
cause no archaeologist in the world, however great his fame
and his independence, has the right to break one single link
in the chain of chronology of superposed structures, every
one of which has an equal claim to existence : but there
are gaps and free spaces enough between the surface ruins
to allow occasionally the search to be carried down to the
2 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
When the space between the temples of Julius Csesar and
of Castor and Pollux was cleared away in 1882, we gave up
the search at the level of the street pavements, dating from
the sixth or the seventh century after Christ. Six years
later Professor Otto Richter was enabled to discover the
remains of the triumphal arch of Augustus, only nine
inches below the line at which we had stopped in 1882. 1
In 1879, when the new boulevard Principe Eugenio was
laid open across the old Licinian Gardens, between the
so-called Minerva Medica and the Porta Maggiore, we came
across a section of the palace of Gallienus, which had been
excavated by Piranesi, about a century before. Piranesi,
and his associate Belardi, having reached the level of the
drains, considered their task finished, and turned the spade
to a more promising spot ; and yet far below those drains
lay buried nine columbaria, rich in cinerary urns, inscrip-
tions, paintings, statuary, and objects of value, which I
have illustrated in the " Bullettino archeol. comunale " for
The present exploration of the Forum and neighboring
sites has been undertaken, therefore, with the view of reach-
ing the early imperial, the republican, the kingly, or even
the prehistoric strata, wherever it was possible to do so
without special injury to the later and 'higher structures.
The results have been quite satisfactory, as I shall have occa-
sion to prove more than once in the following pages. The
one which comes within the scope of the present chapter
is the discovery of the cenotaph (sepulcrum inane) and
national monument (heroon) of Romulus, the founder of
1 Richter, Mittheil. d. arch. Inst. voJt iii. (1888), p. 99 ; Antike Denkmaler,
1888, p. 14 ; Bull. arch, comunale, 1888, p. 167; Thddenat, Le Forum romain,
2 Page 51, pi. 2, 3. Compare Corpus Inscr. vol. vi. part ii. n. 976.
THE REMAINS OF THE ARCH OF AUGUSTUS
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 5
the City. It took place under the following circum-
The area of the Comitium is, or rather was, separated from
that of the Forum by a mediaeval road leading up to the
arch of Severus, so negligently paved with blocks of silex
that the grooves of cart-wheels with which they are marked
appear sometimes perpendicular to the line of the road.
The embankment, moreover, on which they are laid is made
up of loose earth and bricks and stumps of columns, and
even inscribed pedestals, one of which, bearing the name of
the emperor Constantius, and the date 356-359 A. D., was
found September 1, 1803, " sub silicibus vise strata per
arcum Severi." In trying to ascertain how far and how
deep the area of the Comitium which is paved, like that
of the Forum, with slabs of travertine extended under
this late road, Commendatore Boni, who is in charge of the
excavations, discovered on January 10, 1899, an enclosure
twelve feet long, nine feet wide, screened by a marble par-
apet on three sides, and paved with slabs of the blackest
kind of Tsenarian marble.
In estimating the value of this discovery we must bear in
mind two facts. The first is that the Forum, the Comitium,
the Sacra Via, and the surrounding edifices were seriously
injured or completely destroyed by the fire of Carinus, 283
A. D., the damages of which were made good by Diocletian,
who rebuilt the Basilica Julia, the Forum Julium, the Grse-
costasis, and the Senate House; by Maxentius, who rebuilt the
temple of Caesar, the Regia, the Porticus Margaritaria, and
the temple of Venus and Rome, and by the S. P. Q. R., which
" (templum Saturni) incendio consumptum restituit," as the
inscription on the pronaos asserts. We therefore see the
1 Corpus Inscr. vol. vi. n. 1161 : " under the paving-stones of the road which
passes through the arch of Severus."
6 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
Forum and the Comitium not as they were seen and de-
scribed by the classic writers of the Republic and of the
early Empire, but as they were manipulated and rearranged
by Diocletian and Maxentius after the disaster of 283.
Now, as among the many acres of public squares, or
streets, or sacred enclosures, or courts laid bare at Rome,
Ostia, Tusculum, Prseneste, Tibur, Cures, Veii, not an inch
of black flooring has ever been found, this small corner of
the Comitium, " stratum lapide nigro," unique in its kind,
must have a special meaning. Considering, furthermore,
that ancient writers mention the existence of a Black Stone
in this identical spot, we cannot help connecting the find
with their testimony, and we come to the conclusion that
we actually behold one of the most famous relics of the
early days of Rome. Of course we are not sure whether
the black slabs are the identical ones set up in the Comitium
at the time of the Kings; I believe they are not : but what
we know for certain is that when Diocletian repaved the
Comitium in 284, slightly raising its level, he thought it
necessary to perpetuate the memory of the place by pav-
ing with Tsenarian marble a small enclosure in front of
the Senate House, making use probably of the same slabs
which had marked the spot since the time of Augustus or
So far so good. The difficulties begin when we endeavor
to find out why the " lapis niger " was set up in the Comi-
tium, and what its meaning was. Ancient writers agree on
one point, that it was an enclosure sacred to the memory
of the dead, but they vary as to its significance. Sextus
Pompeius Festus, a Roman grammarian of the second
century, whose treatise " De verborum signification " is
abridged from a greater work on the same subject by M.
Verrius Flaccus, another celebrated etymologist of the
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 1
time of Augustus, says : " The Black Stone in the Co-
mitium marks a place of ill omen, destined as a grave to
Romulus, although the hero was not actually buried there :
others say that either Faustulus, the Palatine shepherd, or
Hostilius, the grandfather of King TulHus," lies buried
there instead of Romulus. The text of M. Terentius Varro,
whose vast and varied erudition in almost every department
The Lapis Niger or Black Stone.
of literature earned for him the title of prince of the
Roman men of letters, is lost, but what he thought about
the Black Stone is told us by three commentators of Hor-
ace. 1 Varro thought it marked the tomb of Romulus, the
founder of the City, because, he says, " two stone lions have
been erected to guard it, like that of a hero ; and because
funeral orations in honor of great men are still delivered
1 Porphyrion in Horace, Epod. xvi. 13 ; the Scholiast of Cruyg, ibid., and the
anonym of Cod. Parisin. 7975.
8 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
from the Rostra close by." Dionysius speaks of one lion
as being still visible in his days. Lastly, we hear that those
stones of ill omen marked the spot where Romulus had been
cut to pieces (discerptus) by the mob. Speaking of this
conflicting evidence, in the sitting of the Reale Accademia
dei Lincei of January 22, 1899, I remarked that the fact
of the enclosure and of the black floor having been re-
constructed at so late an age, by Diocletian or Maxentius,
in preference to many other landmarks of this famous dis-
trict, shows how essential it was in the mind of the Romans
to perpetuate the tradition. Considering, therefore, that
the place has not been disturbed since the fall of the Em-
pire, it was easy to ascertain, by tunnelling the ground at
the proper level, whether anything remarkable was buried
under that floor, like an earthen jar, a stone coffin, or
some other relic from the prehistoric age.
Nearly five months elapsed before the exploration could
be carried through : but we did not lose much by waiting.
First to appear was a grave (fossa) once guarded by two
great stone lions : the lions have disappeared, but their
oblong pedestals are almost intact. A sacrificial stone is
laid over the grave or cenotaph, while on the right side of
the lions stand upright in their original position a conical
pillar, and a pyramidal stone covered with Greek letters of
archaic type. Back of this monumental group, the various
parts of which are so intimately connected with one another,
a raised platform was found, 3.44 metres long, 1.60 metres
wide, so similar to the Argsean altars of the Cermalus and
of S. Martino ai Monti, that it was undoubtedly intended
for a similar use. I confess that in my long experience of
Roman excavations I was never more impressed than at the
sight of this venerable monument raised in honor of the
founder of the City not long after his death, a simple and yet
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 9
not inelegant work of an Etruscan stonecutter of the time of
Servius Tullius. The various parts of the group, the lions,
the pillar, the stele, and the altar have all been purposely
injured and mutilated by the violence of man. The pillar
Plan of the Heroon of Romulus under the floor of black stones.
and the stele are broken off at about one third of their
original height ; the plinth of the left lion is half destroyed,
half moved out of place. The whole group was found im-
bedded in a layer of sacrificial remains, from fifteen to
twenty inches thick, such as charred bones of victims (young
bulls, sheep, goats, swine), small vases, clay disks represent-
ing cakes, figurines cast in metal or cut in bone, pieces of
" a3S rude," and so forth. It has been said, but we have as
10 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
yet no official confirmation of the fact, that the layer con-
tained also two or three small chips of the black flooring
itself, which must have been broken and split by the same
hands by which the Comitium was reduced to a heap of
Whose hands were they? There seems to be but one
answer to the query. We behold the palpable, the speak-
ing evidence of the storming and sacking of Rome by the
Gauls in 390 B. c. Whether the senators and the patri-
cians, who had deemed it inconsistent with their dignity to
abandon the City and their duties by an ignoble flight,
were actually murdered here, as stated by Plutarch (Camill.
21), or in the vestibules of their houses, as stated by Livy
(v. 40), or whether they were murdered at all, is still a
matter of discussion ; but the incident of the centurion,
related by the same historian (v. 50), certainly refers to the
place now excavated. While the senators were assembled
on the site of the Curia Hostilia to discuss the proposal of
emigrating to Veii, and the people crowded around to learn
the result of their deliberations, a company of soldiers hap-
pened to cross the Comitium, and the centurion, whether by
chance or by design, gave the command, " Ensign, fix the
standard here : hie manebimus optime ! " Senators and
plebeians accepted the omen, and the emigration to Veii was
unanimously negatived. Now one of their first thoughts in
undertaking the reconstruction and the reorganization of
the City was to purify it from the profanation it had suf-
fered at the hands of the barbarians. " Senatus consultum
factum," Livy says, " fana omnia, quod ea hostis possedis-
set, restituerentur, terminarentur, expiarenturque : expiatio
eorum per duumviros qusereretur." l The purification was
1 "It was decreed by the Senate that all sacred places which had been
occupied [and profaned] by the enemy should be rebuilt, purified, and their
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 11
the more necessary for the Curia and the Comitium, as they
were both consecrated places.
It was suggested at first that the layer of votive offerings
by which the Heroon is enveloped is not the result of sac-
rifices performed here for a certain number of years or of
centuries, but the outcome of the purification made after the
retreat of the Gauls. The analysis of the single objects,
The Heroon of Romulus ; a view taken under the floor of black stones, showing
the relative position of lions, pillar, and stele.
however, has proved that they are not contemporary, not
even approximately so ; but that the formation of the heap
must have required several centuries.
In studying the group constituting, as it were, the national
monument to the founder of the City, we must take into
consideration its various parts, viz., the cenotaph guarded
by the lions, the sacrificial stone, the pillar, the inscribed
limits marked out ; and that special magistrates should be selected to carry
out the decree."
12 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
pyramid, the altar, and the wells or receptacles for votive
offerings which are to be found by scores in the neighbor-
First as to the tomb. In the early days of Kome, when
the population was still dwelling within the limits of the
Palatine hill, the mundus or round pit that marked the
centre of the consecrated space was obviously in the centre
of the hill itself, at the intersecting point of the two me-
ridian lines, the car do and the decumanus. Its location
was indicated by a heap of stones, which in course of
time took the shape of a square altar, named the Roma
Quadrata, a venerable relic preserved through the lapse of
centuries to the end of the Empire. Had the Latin ele-
ment of the population determined to raise a memorial to
its leader, apart from their neighbors, the Sabines and the
Etruscans, they would no doubt have located it at their
own mundus, viz., at the Roma Quadrata. The monument
we have found, however, has a much higher signification :
it is the joint offering of all the elements of the Roman
population dwelling on the Septimontium, after their
amalgamation into one body by Numa and Servius. Its
site, therefore, was selected outside the boundaries of the
Sabine, the Aboriginal, the Etruscan, and the Latin sections,
occupying respectively the Quirinal, the Capitoline, the
Cselian, and the Palatine hills ; and the monument rose, as
it were, on neutral or common ground, in the hollow space
between those heights, where the bartering trade between
the various tribes had already given rise to a rudimentary
According to the Roman legend, Romulus and Tatius,
after the mediation of the Sabine women, met on the spot
where the battle had been fought, and made peace and an
alliance. The spot, a low, damp, grassy field, bordering
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 13
on the marshes of the lesser Velabrum, and exposed to the
floods of a local stream, named (probably) Spinon, took
the name of Comitmm, from the verb coire, to assemble.
Other reasons justified the selection of the site. Here was
the Volkanal, where business of state between the two
kings, Romulus and Tatius, and their councillors had
been transacted for a while ; and here was the stone hall,
or Curia, where the meetings of the Senate of the federal
or amalgamated city were henceforth to take place. Here
ran a stream of living water, with which, on the commemo-
rative feast of the hero, the flamen could purify himself
before offering the sacrifice. For this reason, and also
because of the thought that life is like the water of a river
that flows into the sea of eternity and disappears, memo-
rials to heroes were raised in preference along the banks
of rivers. Thus ^Eneas was buried on the river Numicius,
at the foot of the hills of Lavinium. Romulus, on his
part, had his memorial both on the river which ran through
the heart of the Etrusco-Sabino-Latin Rome, and in the
Agora or market-place, which, according to a tradition
dating as far back as Theseus, was the place of honor in
Argsean and Pelasgic cities. The location, in fact, was so
happily selected that the centre, the 6/A</>aXos, the umbili-
cus Romce, was never shifted from this spot, even when
the population rose to one million, and the great city
expanded miles away from the original nucleus on the
The Heroon sacred to Romulus, the protecting genius of
the City, became an object of popular worship, and propitia-
tions were offered and sacrifices performed at its altar,
especially in troubled or dangerous times. For this purpose
a fossa or receptacle was always attached to the Heroon,
to which the victim was brought, and where it was slain so
14 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
that its blood might flow inside, and give joy and satisfac-
tion to the spirit of the hero and appease his wrath. The
mysterious and irresistible power of the same spirit was
symbolized by one or two lions, an Oriental conception
which, from immemorial times, had been popular in the
yEgean islands, in Greece, and in Italy. I need hardly
quote the well known instance of Leonidas, in whose mem-
ory a lion was raised on the hillock in the pass of Ther-
mopylae, where he and his gallant followers had made their
last stand. Varro, speaking of the lions of Romulus, uses
the expression, " sicut in sepulchris videmus " (as we see in
other [heroic] tombs).
I am not sure whether the sacrificial stone which we see
still lying over the/ossa, between the pedestals of the lions,
is the original one, or whether it is a restoration after the
invasion of the Gauls. In either case, it must certainly have
witnessed some extraordinary and blood-curdling scenes.
There is no doubt that the small figurines of clay, bone,
bronze, and amber found in the layer of votive offerings are
real veKpvv dyaX/iara images of the dead indicative
of human sacrifices. They represent a stiff, naked human
figure with the arms stretched close to the body, without
any sign of life, very different, therefore, from the figu-
rines found in or near the temples of the gods, which
appear full of life and brightness.
It is true that only bones of young animals have been
found in the sacrificial strata ; but it is not improbable that
under exceptionally anxious circumstances human vic-
tims were slain over this stone, and human blood was made
to flow into the cenotaph below. We must not forget that
Numa Pompilius, or whoever first organized Roman wor-
ship and dictated the code of Roman religion, was imbued
with the dark and cruel principles of the Sabine belief,
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 15
which Livy (i. 13) calls " sad and awe-inspiring." If the
great ^Eneas himself had endeavored to assuage the wrath
of Pallas with human blood, the descendants of his race
might equally well have resorted to the same means of pro-
pitiation when the interests,
nay, the very safety of the
Commonwealth were at
stake. Roman writers as-
sert, it is true, that Druidic
rites were excluded from
the national religious code
after the time of the Kings,
but we know that on more
than one occasion cruel
deeds were perpetrated. A
man and a woman were im-
molated in the Forum Boa-
rium after the battle of
Cannae ; and although Livy
gives the excuse that the immolation was against the law,
minime romano sacro, still we have reason to suspect
that exceptions to the rule were not infrequent. A Senatus-
consultum was actually passed as late as 96 B. c. forbid-
ding ne homo immolaretur. And to what purpose? Not
speaking of what continued to take place in certain savage
countries, nominally subjected to the Empire, like Armorica
and the Cottian Alps, human blood was shed in the Campus
Martius at the time of Csesar, and human victims were slain
at the old federal temple on Monte Cavo and in Diana's
grove at Nemi, under the Empire. The Christian apolo-
gists, Justin, Tatian, Minucius Felix, Tertullian, Lactan-
tius, and Prudentius are unanimous in attributing the deed
to the pagans. Perhaps they exaggerate ; perhaps their
Figurines, probably representing human
16 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
complaints have no more ground to stand upon than those
which are repeated in our own days against the Russian or
the Hungarian Jews ; but I am not speaking of the third
or fourth century after Christ. I am speaking of the early
days of the City, when the people had 'not yet developed
the wonderful practical sense of a later age, when little
value was attached to human life, and when religion had
not yet lost the ferocity common to uncivilized races. Why
should we find in Rome so many substitutions for a reg-
ularly recurring human sacrifice if it had not been actu-
ally practised in bygone times ? We find them in the ver
sacrum when the firstborn of a tribe was devoted to a
god, and sent out from the City ; we find them in the
Lupercalia when the young men were smeared with the
victim's blood ; we find them in the spilling of the blood of
a gladiator at theferice Latince on the Alban hills. These
rites were meant to perpetuate the cruel tradition in a
mysterious and attenuated form. Every year, in the month
of June, when the fishermen of the Tiber celebrated their
gathering, live fishes were offered to Vulcan as substitutes
for human souls (pro animis humanis). The Vulcanal was
the scene of another strange performance on the feast day
of Maia, the wife of Vulcan, when heads of garlic and of
poppies were offered to her in substitution for infants, whose
sacrifice, tolerated by the Kings, was only abolished by Bru-
tus after the expulsion of the Tarquins. In the month of
May rush-puppets resembling men, tied hand and foot,
were cast into the Tiber from the Sublician bridge. As
a last instance I quote the fate of Mettus Curtius, and his
leaping into the chasm, the edges of which closed over him
like the lid of a grave ; because, considering the fact that
the plague was raging in Rome at the time, his action must
be interpreted as a human sacrifice, as a self-immolation.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 17
Considering all these things, we cannot behold these fig-
1 urines of men stiff in the rigidity of death, or wound up in
bands like mummies, without a certain emotion, connected
as they are with the severe and melancholy practices of early
Sabino-Roman worship. The sacrificial layer of which they
form part contains other objects of interest, which are now
exhibited in a room on the Sacra Via, near the remains of
the arch of Fabius. 1 Numerous above all are the fragments
of black ware which was never used for the necessities of
life, but made expressly for funeral purposes. The goblets
and cups are never whole,
being represented, as a rule,
by one single fragment, in
accordance with another
ritual practice significant
of the end of the funeral
These vases are either of
buccaro (black clay) or of
local imitation of buccaro ;
a few other fragments
belong to Greek pottery
which must have been im-
ported into Rome by the
way of Etruria. The cut on page 19 represents a piece of a
Chalcidian amphora, with the figure of Dionysos riding a
donkey, and holding the drinking cup with the right hand,
in a style which is peculiar and characteristic of the end of
the seventh and of the beginning of the sixth century B. c.
This piece was found nearer to the bottom than to the sur-
1 A special museum for the antiquities of the Forum will shortly be estab-
lished in the ex-convent of S. Fraucesca Roniana, by the Temple of Venus and
A votive terracotta panel.
18 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
face of the votive layer. Taking, therefore, the end of the
seventh century as the beginning of the formation of the
layer, we are sure that the hero-worship, in this rude primi-
tive form, lasted for a long time, because other fragments
of Attic pottery have been picked up near the surface which
date from about 550 B. c. I do not mean to say that the
practice of offering ex-votos was given up at that date ; on
the contrary, we have reason to believe that it was con-
tinued as late as the burning of Rome by the Gauls in 390
B. c., and even later, but the upper strata have disappeared
in the general wreck of the Comitium, together with the
lions and the upper portions of the pillar and the pyramid.
When the damages of the wreck were made good, the Senate
House rebuilt, the Comitium restored to its original design,
its level raised by about three feet, and the Heroon con-
cealed for the first time under a flooring of black stones,
regular wells were provided all round, so that the votive offer-
ings would no longer be cast loose and spread all over the
place, but put down in regular and duly consecrated recep-
tacles. The number of these votive wells known to us is
constantly increasing : probably there were as many as there
were tribes in Rome, viz., thirty-five. Some are diamond
shaped, some trapezoid ; but the majority are square and
about four feet deep. Unfortunately they have been found
empty, or, to speak more exactly, filled only with mud and
fine earth, that had filtered through the interstices of the
lid with which their openings were sealed when the Forum
and the Comitium were raised to a still higher level. One
of these sacred wells appears in the plan of the Heroon
given above (p. 9).
The sacrificial layer contains a great variety of objects :
some of personal wear, like fibula and clay beads ; some
connected with the pleasures of life, such as dice and astra-
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 19
galoi. No trace of coined metal has been found, but only
bits of copper or bronze, the analysis of which has not been
published yet. I believe that when the Forum was raised
to its highest level, about the time of Sulla or of Caesar,
the contents of the wells were spread over and around the
Heroon. No wonder, therefore, that the layer should con-
tain objects pertaining to the last century of the Republic.
Pillars, according to Servius, are another characteristic
mark of the graves of heroes. The one discovered near the
pedestal of the west lion overthrown by the Gauls so that
only its lowest section is left standing to tell the tale is
slightly tapering in shape. Without borrowing from Greece
and Sicily instances of this architectural device to honor and
perpetuate the memory of great men, we find in the Forum
itself parallel cases in the Columna Msenia, in the Columna
Julia, in the grave of the Charioteer, and in the naval pillar
of Duilius. The fate of the Charioteer is told by Dionysius.
He was struck by lightning while racing in the Circus, and
his remains were interred at the foot of the Janiculum ;
but mysterious events began to
spread such terror in the neigh-
borhood that the Senate ordered
the body to be removed to the
Vulcanal, where a column with
the effigy of the deceased was
raised over the grave.
When the partisans of Caesar,
the first deified Roman of his-
torical times, determined to con-
secrate the spot where his body Fragment O f a chaicidian amp h<
had been cremated, at the east
end of the Forum (just as the opposite or west end was
sacred to the memory of the founder of the City), they
20 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
saw no better means of carrying out their design than the
raising of a column of Numidian marble, twenty feet high,
inscribed PABENTI PATRLE (to the Father of the country).
The pedestal of this column is still to be seen in a semi-
circular recess in front of the temple of CaBsar, as shown in
the illustration below.
The interest of this beautiful chain of discoveries culmi-
nates in the inscribed stele or pyramid, still standing, after
The newly found base of the Julian pillar.
twenty-five centuries, on the identical site where one of the
Kings had set it up, near the place of assembly of the
Elders. The inscription was engraved by the stonecutter
while the block lay horizontal, running first from the right
to the left, and going on backwards and forwards like the
plough in the wheatfield (/3ovo-Tpo<f)r]$6v). This very early
style of palaeography, not uncommon in Greece, was un-
known to the Etruscans, Umbrians, Oscans, and also (we
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 21
believed) to the Latins. It appears in a few inscriptions
from Picenum and Marsica, lands inhabited by a rough and
uncultured race, which followed early traditions and habits
to a very late pe-
that the fiovo-Tpo- UBSSte+^^-j^'^ft*
only during the ""^
seventh and sixth
centuries B. c., and,
the words of the
inscription are sepa-
rated by three ver-
tical dots, a mode
which dates also
from the end of the
seventh and the be-
ginning of the sixth century, we are entitled to believe
that the stele must belong to the same age.
It seems that the primitive Romans became acquainted
with the Greek (Doric-Corinthian ) alphabet, not by the
way of Cumae, as was thought at first, but by the way of
Caere. From Caere, likewise, came the alphabet in use at
Veii, a splendid specimen of which was discovered in my
presence at Formello in 1878, engraved on a buccaro
vase l now in the collection of Prince Chigi. In fact, the
Romans borrowed from Caere not only the fifteen or sixteen
letters of their early alphabet, 2 but also their religious
1 Moulded in black clay, dull, not shiny.
2 According to Iginus, Carmenta transferred to Latium only fifteen letters,
while Plutarch asserts that sixteen were in use at the earliest epoch. Compare
The stele or inscribed pyramid.
22 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
institutions ( Cceremom&, ceremonies). The stele of the
Comitium leaves no doubt on this subject : it proves, more-
over, how exact are early Roman annalists and historians
whose authority it has been the fashion to deny, and whose
word it has been the fashion to disbelieve when they
speak of the laws of the Kings and of public treaties
engraved on wood or stone in a language that could be
understood no more. Polybius (iii. 22) mentions this fact
apropos of the convention, signed Anno Urbis 245, between
the Romans and the Carthaginians.
Dionysius (iv. 26) describes a bronze stele of the time of
King Servius Tullius upon which archaic Greek letters were
engraved. Livy (xl. 29) says that the volumes found in
Numa's coffin in the field of L. Petillius were written in
Greco-Latin characters. Pliny (xvi. 87) describes a vener-
able oak in the Vatican district, believed to be older than
Rome itself, to which a label written in Etruscan letters
was nailed, declaring the tree to be a sacred object. Tacitus
himself compares the lettering of these ancient records to
the oldest Hellenic specimens of handwriting.
All these invaluable documents perished in the Gaulish
fire of 390 B. c. " Parvse et rarse per eadem tempora literse
fuere," Livy says, vi. 1, " quae in commentariis pontificum
aliisque publicis privatisque erant monumentis, incensa
urbe (a Gallis) plerseque interiere." This rough block of
stone, discovered June 15, 1899, is the only one, as far as
we know, that partially escaped destruction in that great
catastrophe. It contains a pontifical law, which is at the
Brdal, Sur les rapports de ValpJiabet etrusque avec ^alphabet latin, in Mem.
Societe Linguistique, Paris, viii., 1889, pp. 129-134. Lenormant, Melanges
d'arche'ol. et d'hist., 1883, p. 302.
1 " Literature was then in its infancy : the rare and simple documents of
those early days, such as the pontifical records, and public and private deeds, '
were lost, save a few exceptions, in the Gaulish fire."
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 23
same time a royal law, specifying the ritual of certain pub-
lic sacrifices, in the dialect spoken in Rome towards the end
of the seventh century before Christ. It appears as if Livy
must have had this stele before his eyes, or fresh in his
memory, when he wrote the well-known passage (i. 20) :
The stele of the Comitium. Details of the east face.
" Numa Pompilius selected a high priest, and gave him a
sacred code, in which the ritual of sacrifices was specified,
what victims ought to be slain, on what days of the year,
at what temples," etc. The whole inscription of the stele
24 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
is summarized in Livy's words : quibus hostiis (FORDAS,
SORDAS) quibus diebus (EIDIASIAS, NOUNASIAS) ad quce
templa (SAKROS SESED, SAKROS SED). 1 The document
abounds in words abounds, in comparison with the total
which do not appear in the Latin language : another
proof of remote antiquity, because, as Horace expresses it,
" words are formed and die out like the leaves of the tree,"
but the years in the life of words are centuries !
Professor Ceci reads the inscription and supplies the
missing words as follows :
" Quoi ho(rdas veigead, veigetod) sakros sesed. Sor(das
sakros sed. Eid)iasias regei lo(iba adferad ad rem d)evam.
Quos re(x per mentore)m kalatorem hap(ead endo ada)giod,
ioux menta capia(d) dota v(ovead. Ini)m ite ri k(oised
nounasias i)m. Quoi havelod nequ(ain sied dolod malo)d,
diove estod. (Qu)oi voviod (sacer diove estod)."
" Whoever wants to immolate pregnant cows [fordas],
he should do it by the shrine. Pregnant sows should be
immolated away from the shrine. The ritual cakes used in
sacrificing should be brought to the rex sacrorum at the time
of the full moon. 2 Whoever wants to immolate pregnant
cows or sows, having obtained leave from the rex sacrorum
through the kalator, must take the auspices, and present
his votive offerings. The same rules must be followed when
sacrifices are performed at the first quarter of the moon [the
Nonse of later times]. Whosoever disregards the sacred
1 Compare Livy, v. 52, where Camillus speaks of the sacred laws, stating the
days as well as the places chosen for the performing of sacrifices. Dionysius (ii.
73, 74) says that Numa's legislation on religious matters was collected in
eight volumes, as many as there were priestly colleges.
2 The Idus, in the later sense of the word, indicates the 13th day of the
month, except in March, May, July, and October, when it fell on the 15th ;
but originally it indicated the full moon, from the Etruscan verb " iduare," to
divide, because the full moon divides the lunar months.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 25
laws concerning the auspices and the votive offerings, let
him be sacred to Jupiter" (which means that he may be
killed with impunity).
Professor Ceci ends his report with this remarkable
sentence : " I shall not say that the discovery of the
stele marks the e bankruptcy ' of the modern hypercritical
school, especially German, but one thing is certain : the
discovery will shake the faith of the many who have sworn
blindly by the word of Niebuhr and Ihne and will revive the
hopes of the few who trust to the authority of Livy, and
believe in the historical value of early Roman traditions."
These words, the reader may well imagine, have occa-
sioned a great outcry on either side of the Alps, for the
hypercritical school counts many adepts in Italy, even more
" negative " than their ultramontane teachers ; they remind
us of certain adepts of the Wagnerian school, who, in their
attempt to follow in the wake of the great master, have
gone to extremes unknown to him, and have produced lace-
rating sounds instead of harmony.
A just and impartial account of the controversy over Ceci's
publication has been given by Giacomo Tropea, professor
of ancient history in the University of Messina ; 1 another
by Raffaele de Cara, in the last two volumes of the Civilta
Cattolica. We do not know whether Professor Ceci is right
or wrong ; but his interpretation of the stele has nothing
to do with the main question at issue. The date of the
monument does not depend exclusively upon the meaning
of the words inscribed on it ; but it can be determined from
other points of view, such as that of its topographical sur-
1 La stele arcaica del foro romano : Cronaca della scoperta e ddla discussione,
May to December, 1899. Messina, D' Amico. Compare, also, Von Duhn,
Fundumstdnde und Fundort der dltesten lateinischen Steininschrift am Forum
Romamim, a reprint from the Neue Heidelberger Jahrbiicher, July, 1899.
26 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
roundings and of its depth below the level of the republican
and imperial fora. The Heroon occupies the level trodden
by human feet in the valley of the Forum at the time of
the Kings when the greater part of the space between
the Capitoline and the Palatine hills was a swamp fed by
the unruly river, which drained the valley of Quirinus, the
Subura, the Carina3 and the Argiletum, and by copious local
springs. Now the first thought of the dwellers on the
Palatine, as soon as they had joined hands with the Sabines
of the Quirinal, and made one city out of the various tribal
settlements of the Septimontium, was to drain the land
which they had selected for their market, and where they
were wont to assemble on election days. The scheme, ac-
cording to tradition, was carried into execution by the elder
Tarquin, who lined the banks of the stream (Spinon ?) with
great square blocks of stone, leaving a channel about five
feet wide so as to prevent the spreading of flood-water, and
to provide the low-lying district with a permanent outlet.
The increase of the population, the development of public
and private constructions, the expansion of traffic soon made
it necessary to cover the channel and make it run under-
ground. This second step was taken under the rule of the
second Tarquin, as described by Livy in chapters xxxviii.
and Ivi. of the first book. We need not, however, depend
upon the testimony of ancient writers in ascertaining the
chronology of these undertakings, so essential to the welfare,
nay, to the very existence of a city, especially when the city
occupied the centre of " a pestilential region." That the
Cloaca Maxima was built and vaulted over at the time of
the Kings, before the middle of the third century of Rome,
by Etruscan masons and Etruscan engineers, is a fact
absolutely unquestioned in the mind of any one acquainted
with the hydrography, geology, and archaeology of Rome and
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 27
Etruria. Now when the Heroon of Romulus was put up in
the Comitium within a few feet of the Cloaca Maxima, this
The votive vase of Dvenos.
last was still an open channel without a roof ! The level of
the Heroon is three or four feet lower than the vaulted
ceiling of the cloaca, which must have run in its turn two
or three feet below the level of the ground.
28 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
The arguments which the hypercritics bring forth, in
their attempt to break this chain of evidence, are rather
vague and frail. They insist on the fact that the stele must
have been inscribed and set up in the Comitium after the
retreat of the Gauls, 390 B. c. ; and that it is, therefore, a
much later legend than that engraved on the votive vase of
Dvenos, 1 because the plinth of the lions and the sacrificial
stone were cut by a workman acquainted with the value and
the use of the Attic foot ; and as this standard measure
was unknown in Rome before the time of the Decemvirs
(451-449 B. c.), the Heroon must be a work of that com-
paratively late period. This argument is a favorite one
with the skeptical school, as it gives them the means of deny-
ing and upsetting not only the history but the topography
of Rome for the first three centuries of its existence. In
fact, the Romans being an ignorant, barbarous, wild race,
the like of which, according to the skeptics, could hardly be
found now in the central wilderness of New Guinea, how
could they be supposed to have lived in a city built in
harmony with the rules of civilization ? Down, therefore,
with the walls of the Palatine city, with those of Servius
Tullius ; down with the Prison of Ancus Marcius, with the
Cloaca Maxima of Tarquinius Priscus, with the temple of
Jupiter Capitolinus of Tarquinius Superbus ! All these
landmarks of the early days of Rome must be later than
the Decemvirs, because their builders knew the existence of
the Attic foot ! And when I announced in 1882 the dis-
covery of Antemnas, as that of a settlement contemporary
1 The votive vase of Dvenos, with its remarkable archaic inscription, was
discovered in 1880 in the foundations of the Villa Huffer, on the south slope of
the Quirinal, near the church of S. Vitale. No satisfactory interpretation of
the text edited first by Heinrich Dressel in Annal. Instit., 1880, p. 158 has
been given yet. At all events, it was the oldest known Latin inscription before
the discovery of the stele.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 29
with the foundation of Rome, I must have been laboring
under a delusion, because the stones with which the walls
of that place are built measure exactly two feet in height !
It seems hardly credible that such theories can be ad-
vanced in the presence and in the light of so many discov-
eries by which the fundamental truth of Roman tradition
is amply justified. From the earliest days the Romans
borrowed masons and stonecutters from their immediate
neighbors, the Etruscans of Veii, 1 just as they had bor-
rowed from the Etruscans of Caere their ceremonies and
their alphabet, from
the Etruscans of
Vulci their vulcani
or coppersmiths. If
we find a similarity
between the Attic,
the Etruscan, and
the Roman foot in
those remote days,
the reason is evi-
dent ; the fundamen-
tal principles of their
architecture and me-
trology descend from
a common source.
The prehistoric for-
tified villages, known
by the name of Ter-
by Pigorini in the valley of the Po and of its affluents,
were also designed and built by engineers familiar with the
1 The connection between the two cities was so close that the bank of the
Tiber, opposite the Palatine hill, was named RIPA VEIENTANA.
Pedestal of the east lion.
30 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
principles of the " agrimetatio " on the basis of the foot
(.297 metres). For all purposes let me repeat that the use
of the Attic foot, as far as the Heroon Romuli is concerned,
has been ascertained only in connection with the plinth of
the pedestals of the lions (which measures .29 metres in
height) and with the sacrificial stone (which is one foot
thick, and two and a half feet long). All the rest seems
to be cut at random.
This affair of the Attic measure finds its counterpart in
another statement of the negative school, that the laws
of the XII. Tables are also a product of the time of the
Decemvirs, because we find use.d in them the word pwna,
which must have been imported from Greece (iroivrj) by the
Decemvirs themselves !
To conclude. Since the discovery of the Heroon Romuli
in the Comitium and of the archaic stele, whatever the
meaning of its legend may be, the history of ancient
Rome cannot longer be written in the distrustful spirit of
the hypercritical school. The future rests with our con-
servative party, of which I was a convinced member even
at a time when it required a certain amount of courage to
be recognized as such and to meet the accusation of credu-
lity, when a lecturer could not name the founder of the
City as a man who had actually existed, without blushing
before his audience. As Professor Otto Schmidt remarks in
the " Neue Jahrbucher f. Deutsch. Liter." (Leipzig, 1900,
p. 52) : " Whoever is conversant with recent German liter-
ature on the history of Rome will acknowledge that the con-
servative party is gaining ground every day. The future
is in the hands of the conservatives." It seems to me rather
a good turn of fortune that while our opponents were pro-
claiming the Forum not older than 400 B. c. ? that dear
old place should reveal to us the most convincing proof
of its remote antiquity.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 31
The tradition about the grave of Romulus never died out
in Rome ; it was kept alive in the Comitium by outward
signs long after the original monument had been concealed
from view under a flooring of black stones. In fact, we
find it confirmed by imperial authority, in the most solemn
form, at the beginning of the fourth century after Christ,
when Maxentius raised, in front of the Senate House, the
pedestal inscribed :
MARTI * INVICTO * PATRI
ET ' ^ETERN^E VRBIS SV.E
(" To Mars the invincible father, and to the founders of
his eternal City ! ") This pedestal, discovered November
12, 1899, dates probably from 312 A. D. It seems that at
the beginning of that eventful year, Maxentius, having de-
clared war against Constantine under the plea that he had
caused the death of his father Maximianus, not only made
elaborate preparations to stop the advance of Constantine's
army, but endeavored also to propitiate the gods in his
favor, those especially to whom the welfare of the City was
entrusted. It is necessary to remember that when Diocle-
tian divided the Roman empire into two parts and four
sections, and gave them up to his colleagues, Maximian,
Galerius, and Chlorus, besides his own leading share, and
when Nicomedia was chosen as the capital of the eastern,
and Milan of the western empire, Rome, the glorious City
which had ruled the world for centuries, was reduced to
the rank of a provincial town.
After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, May,
305, Galerius and Chlorus became emperors (Augusti),
while Severus and Daza were raised to the rank of Caesars.
The presence of so many barbarians at the head of the
32 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
state exasperated the army ; revolutions and civil wars
broke out in Brittany, in northern Italy, and in the East,
with the result that, three years later, in 308, the number
of rulers had increased to six, the last comers being Con-
stantine son of Chlorus, and Maxentius son of Maximian.
Maxentius had a true Roman heart. In spite of the anxious
political situation which gave him no peace and no rest, he
tried to revive in Rome the tradition of its old greatness,
and to emulate the Emperors of the golden days in the
magnificence of his structures. I shall describe in the next
chapter his reconstruction of the Clivus Sacrse Via3, which
he transformed from a narrow irregular lane into a great
avenue sixty-seven feet wide, lining it on one side with the
Porticus Margaritaria, on the other with the Heroon of his
son Romulus and with the Basilica Nova. In the outskirts
of the city he transformed the old Triopium of Herodes
Atticus, described in " Pagan and Christian Rome," p. 287,
into an imperial suburban residence, adding to the accom-
modations of the place a circus, a palace, a basilica, and
a family mausoleum. He considerably improved his own
family estate at the fourteenth milestone of the Via Labi-
cana, changing it from a farm into a villa. I visited this
delightful corner of the Campagna, now called San Cesario,
in the course of last winter. The villa rivals in extent that
of the Quintilii on the Appian Way, while it surpasses it
in natural beauty, with its well-wooded and well-watered
dales, winding among vine-clad hills, with the mountains
of Prseneste for a background, shaded by olive groves, and
crowned by the Pelasgic fortress of Castel S. Pietro. Here
two pedestals were found in 1705, dedicated by Valerius
Romulus, one to his father Maxentius " patri benignissimo
pro amore caritatis eius," one to his mother Valeria Maxi-
milla " matri carissimae pro amore adfectionis eius." These
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 33
terms of filial devotion and endearment were not dictated
for appearance, nor intended to be read by outsiders ; there-
fore they speak the truth, and give us a glimpse of the
intimate life of the happy trio in their peaceful retreat on
the Via Labicana, which they had enriched with a magnifi-
cent collection of works of art. The many specimens of
statuary, and the set of portrait-busts found by the present
owners of the estate, have just been sold to a dealer, and
dispersed among various collectors on either side of the
If we add to the list of these works the restoration of the
Marbles discovered in the villa of Maxentius at S. Cesario.
Appian Way from Rome to Brindisi, of the road to Lauren-
turn, and of several aqueducts, we must admit that very few
Emperors have done as much, in the space of four years, as
Maxentius did between April 21, A. D. 308, the date of his
accession to the throne, and October 27, 312, the day he
34 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
was drowned in the Tiber while retreating from the battle-
field of Saxa Rubra. The pedestal lately found in the
Comitium testifies to the true Roman spirit of Maxentius,
in his attempt to relieve the fortunes of his dear city. An-
other inscription found in the Forum, which begins with
the words, " censure veteris, pietatisque singularis, domino
nostro Maxentio," seems to allude to this tenacity of pur-
pose for the preservation of its historical greatness against
the attempts of Diocletian and his colleagues. 1 He raised
the pedestal to Mars, to Romulus and Remus, because
he knew that under the flooring of black stones, near by,
there lay deep underground the cenotaph of the founder
of the City, of the son of Mars and Rhea Silvia, whose
name he had given to his own son. And to make the
connection between the old and the new monuments more
evident, he selected for the dedication of this last the an-
niversary day of the foundation of the City, the glorious
PaliliaB, April 21 : " Dedicata die XI Kal. Maias ! "
In the legend of his coins Maxentius always addresses
Rome as the " sterna urbs sua," and speaks of himself as
the " conservator urbis suse." These coins show on the
reverse the figure pf Rome seated on a throne in her own
temple on the Summa Sacra Via, on the pediment of which
we see the infant twins sucking the wolf. Even more in-
teresting from the point of view of the last discoveries is
a medal described by Eckhel, 2 in which the figure of Mars
appears in company with that of the wolf and her nurslings.
These facts and these considerations give weight to the
conjecture that the pedestal of Maxentius did not support
a statue of Mars, but the bronze wolf now in the Capitoline
1 Corpus Inscr. Latin, vi. 1220, 31394.
2 Doctrina nwnm. viii. p. 56. Cohen, Monn. imper. vi. 28.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 35
The origin of this celebrated work of art is- rather obscure.
It seems that in the old days of Rome there was a statue of
Atta Navius on the steps of the Curia on the left, marking
The Bronze Wolf.
the spot where the miracle-working augur, challenged by
Tarquin, had cut the whetstone with a razor. A fig-tree
close by was held in veneration, first, because it had been
struck by lightning and made sacred, and again because it
symbolized the Ruminal tree, under the shade of which the
wolf had tendered maternal care to the twins. In fact, the
people believed it to be the original one, transported from
the Velabrum to the Comitium by a prodigy. It seems
that two bronze images of the wolf had been placed under
the fig-tree at different times : the first by Atta Navius
36 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
himself, and this one probably perished in the Gaulish fire ;
the second in B. c. 295, by the brothers CnaBus and Quin-
tus Ogulnii, who devoted to its casting the fines collected
from the usurers. Ancient writers mention a third wolf,
also cast in bronze and gilded, placed somewhere in the
Capitol; and because this last was struck by lightning,
under the consulship of Cotta and Torquatus, B. c. 64, many
antiquarians have identified it with the one now exhibited
in the Palazzo de' Conservatori, which shows the right hind
leg split open as if by a stroke of some kind. However,
this cannot be the case, because Cicero and Dion Cassius
distinctly state that both the beast and the infants were
wrenched from their stand and melted ; l and besides, the
existing replica has never been gilded.
Can we then identify it with the original placed by the
brothers Ogulnii in the Comitium ? Helbig says no, and
I beg leave to quote at length the statement he makes in
vol. i. p. 460 of his " Guide to the Collections of Classical
Antiquities in Rome," first ed., 1895. " The she-wolf of
Rome was conceived of by ancient artists in two different
ways. The usual mode represents her suckling the twins
and turning her head to look at them. More rarely she is
seen without the twins, and in a threatening attitude, as,
for instance, on the denarii of Publius Satrienus [p. 37].
The Capitoline wolf reproduces the latter motive. With
flashing eye and gnashing teeth she menaces an approach-
ing foe. The terror-striking effect of the head was en-
hanced by the glittering enamel of the deeply incised pupils,
a fragment of which still remains in the right eye. If
we may assume that the development of early Roman art
was parallel with that of Etruria, we may ascribe the execu-
tion of this work to the fifth century B. c. In any case, we
1 Cicero, Catilin. iii. 7 ; De divinat. i. 13 ; ii. 20. Dion Cassius, xxxvii. 9.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 37
must reject the hypothesis that it is identical with the she-
wolf which the ^Ediles Cnseus and Quintus Ogulnius erected
by the Ficus Ruminalis in 295 B. c. with the money paid in
fines. At that epoch the Romans were masters of Cam-
pania, and had there become familiar with both Hellenic
and Hellenistic art, and hence it seems incredible that in
the year 295 B. c. so archaic a work as the Capitoline wolf
could have been publicly installed in Rome." Helbig's
difficulty may be obviated by supposing that the artist was
commissioned by the Ogulnii to reproduce the lost original
of Atta Navius, rather than to model a new figure.
Again, we cannot agree with Helbig as regards the origin,
or rather the discovery, of the Capitoline bronze. " The
basilica of St. John Lateran," he says, "was entirely rebuilt
under Pope Sergius III. (904-911) after its
destruction by an earthquake in 896. It
would appear quite natural that a desire should
then have arisen to adorn the piazza in front
of it with the emblem of Rome. As the
sculptors of the time were incapable of pro- The Wolf in the
ducing a statue in any degree satisfactory, trie"!
search was made for some ancient work of the
kind. The she-wolf was then discovered, lying ruined and
forgotten, perhaps in the cellars of some pagan temple, and
was entrusted to a coppersmith near by, to be patched up for
its position in front of the Lateran." l These conjectures
would be acceptable if the wolf were the only work of art
cast in metal collected by the Popes round their episcopal
palace : but besides the wolf, there was the equestrian statue
of Marcus Aurelius ; the Camillus, known in the middle ages
by the name of La Zingara or the Gypsy, from the supposi-
1 Helbig thinks that the wolf " has been most barbarously treated by a
38 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FOttUM.
tion that the right hand was stretched forward for purposes
of palmistry ; the Boy extracting a thorn ; the colossal head
of Nero ; the hand of another colossal statue ; the bronze
globe, etc., all of which were removed to the Conservatori
palace at the time of Sixtus IV. (1471). All these celebrated
bronzes cannot have been found " in the cellars of some
pagan temple " at the time of Sergius III., viz., after Rome
had been pillaged by the barbarians and by her own citizens
a hundred times at least, and after even the roofs of old
buildings had been stripped of the bronze tiles. The Lat-
eran collection must have been formed long before the
tenth century, when bronze works of art were still plen-
The wolf, at all events, is mentioned long before the
time of Sergius III. Benedict of Mount Soracte speaks
of the institution of a court of justice " in the Lateran
palace, in the place called the Wolf, viz., the mother of the
Romans," as an event of the beginning of the ninth cen-
tury. Trials and executions at the Wolf are recorded from
time to time until 1438. The illustration on p. 39 refers
to the cruel punishment of Capocciolo and Garofolo, on
September 12 of that year, for having stolen certain pre-
cious stones from the busts of SS. Peter and Paul, which
were then kept in the ciborium or canopy of Urban V.
above the high altar of the Lateran. Capocciolo and Garo-
folo, who were beneficiaries of the chapter, had their right
hands cut and nailed at the Wolf, before they were them-
selves nailed to the stakes and burnt alive. The scene of
their execution, and that of their accomplice, Nicola da
Valmontone, Avho as a canon of the same chapter was only
hanged on a tree, was painted on the wall of the transept
by order of Cardinal Angelotto de Foschi. The original
was destroyed by Clement VIII. in 1587, but a copy is
An execution "at the Wolf," A. D. 1348:
from a painting formerly in the Clemen-
tine transept, at the Lateran.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 39
preserved in the archives
of the chapter, from which
my illustration is taken.
I have no doubt myself
that the wolf, kept from
immemorial times at the
Lateran, is the very one
that Maxentius replaced on
the newly found pedestal,
after the fire of Carinus,
by which the Curia and the
Comitium were so seriously
damaged. But whether I
am right or hot in my be-
lief, whether the wolf or
any other image stood on
that pedestal, its connection with the Heroon of Romulus
is evident ; and we cannot read without emotion this last
appeal of a true and brave emperor to the founders of his
dear city at the moment he was going to face Constantine
on the field of battle. Really, between this unfortunate
prince, Roman to the core, and his antagonist, who was
going to abandon the glorious city for Constantinople, we
cannot help siding with the first ; we cannot help wishing
that the battle of Saxa Rubra had had a different issue.
The grave of Romulus the founder of the City, at one
end of the Forum, and the memorial of Romulus the son of
Maxentius, at the other, mark the beginning and the end
of the history of classic Rome.
The floor of the Comitium in front of the Senate House, a
perspective view of which is reproduced (page 41), may be
called an historical and topographical palimpsest. We can
see at a glance several pavements at various levels, each one
40 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
retaining traces of the special treatment to which the Comi-
tium was subjected at that particular period of its history.
Thus, in the last floor but one we perceive signs of a line
of columns (A, A') running parallel with the front of the
Curia at the foot of the steps (B, B'), which were inclosed
and separated from the public section of the Comitium by a
bronze railing or transenna (C C'). A gutter (D D') runs
along the transenna, to carry off the rain-water from the
enclosure. And when all these things were finally covered
by a stone floor (E, E'), a beautiful fountain was set up in
front of the main door of the Curia, and the gutter was
utilized to lay the lead pipe which carried the water for the
Nothing is left of the fountain except the lower basin
(F F'), which collected the drippings from the tazza above,
and the foundations of the octagonal pedestal which sup-
ported the tazza. The history of the tazza is at all events
First of all, the setting up of this fountain in the last days
of classic Rome belongs to a cycle of works carried on in
the Senate House and its neighborhood at the beginning of
the fifth century, when the principal hall was restored by
the prefect Nseratius, and the Secretary's offices by the pre-
fect Flavius Annius Eucharius. Both edifices must have
been damaged by the Goths of Alaric in 410. The foun-
tain was not made for use here, but was removed to the
Comitium from some other place. Its mouldings are too
graceful, and the cutting of the slabs too neat to be attrib-
uted to a stonecutter of the fifth century. It seems, in
fact, that when the basin was lifted to its new level or
moved to its new place, the workmen marked its eight
marble segments with the first eight letters of the alphabet
so as to avoid any difficulty in rejoining them. The B and
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 43
the F can still be seen at the joints of the second and sixth
The fountain lasted for a long period, probably until the
cutting of the aqueducts by Vitiges, for the surface of the
basin was worn out by the dripping of the tazza, and a
thick line of lime deposit was formed around the rim. At
all events, this was not the only fountain of the Comitium :
there was another into which the water flowed from the urn
of a recumbent River-god known, since the early middle
ages, by the name of Marforio (Martis forum).
This loquacious and sarcastic River-god has had the for-
tune, in common with the Nile and the Tiber now in the
Piazza del Campidoglio, of having never been buried and
removed from sight since the downfall of Rome. We can fol-
low his career before and after the Norman pillage of 1084,
which marks the first disappearance of the Forum and the
Comitium under a bed of rubbish. The so-called Anonymus
of Einsiedeln saw it near the church of S. Martina (the
Secretarium Senatus) before the pillage ; and it is constantly
44 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
mentioned in the Guide-books for pilgrims, or Mirabilia, of
a later date. When Giovanni Ruccellai visited Rome in the
Jubilee of 1450 he was struck at the sight of the colossal
figure of Marforio, and so was Nicholas Muffel of Nurem-
berg, who followed Frederick III. in his visit to Nicholas V.
in 1452. They both speak with admiration of the " gran
simulacro a giacere," and they both mention the tazza of
granite into which he used once to pour water. This feel-
ing of admiration lasted all through the sixteenth cen-
tury. Speaking of Michelangelo's David, Vasari says : " It
stands foremost among all ancient and modern works of
statuary, and neither the Marforio, nor the Tiber and Nile
of Belvedere, nor the Horse-tamers of the Quirinal can bear
comparison with it." The same genial biographer relates
of Baccio Bandinelli, that finding himself one morning in
the workshop of Girolamo del Buda, while the adjoining
Piazza di S. Apollinare was covered with a sheet of snow,
the young artist modelled with it a Marforio, eight cubits
long, which was a marvel to behold.
The original statue was removed from the site of the
Comitium at the time of Gregory XIII., and after many wan-
derings was given a resting-place in the Piazza del Campi-
doglio, on the side facing the Palazzo dei Conservatori, where
the Museo Capitolino now stands, and while old Marforio
was thus joining company with the Tiber and the Nile, which
Michelangelo had already located on the south side of the
same piazza against the steps of the Palazzo del Senatore,
the granite tazza was left abandoned near S. Martina until
1593. On October 22 of that year the city magistrates ob-
tained from Cardinal Alessandro Farnese a piece of ground
near the " three columns " of Castor's temple, where the
basin was set up and furnished with three jets of the
Felice water which Pope Sixtus V. had just gathered from
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 47
the springs of Pantano. It was finally removed to its
present site, between the Horse-tamers in the Piazza del
Quirinale, by Pius VII. in 1817. (See page 49.)
Marforio's position amongst the loquacious statues of
Rome is not prominent like that of Pasquino, his duty be-
ing confined to answering his friend's sallies, not to origi-
nating them. However, " a neat repartee maketh glad the
heart of the utterer." We have seen what the career of the
River-god was, after the water ceased to flow, from the urn
on which his elbow rests, into the fountain of the Comi-
tium. Pasquino's origin is altogether obscure. This battered
torso, this mutilated fragment of a group considered to re-
present Menelaus supporting the dead body of Patroclus,
seems to have been discovered by Francesco Orsini while
building his palace in the region of Parione ; and when the
palace demolished by Pius VI. to make room for his own
Palazzo Braschi was rented by Cardinal Oliviero Caraffa,
towards the end of the fifteenth century, the torso was set
upon a pedestal with the inscription : " I owe my existence
to Oliver Caraffa : A. D. 1501." How was it, then, that
the almost shapeless fragment became the greatest object of
curiosity in Rome ? According to Castelvetro's version, it
derived name and notoriety from a sharp-tongued and witty
tailor named Pasquino, who kept a shop opposite the Orsini
palace, and whose sallies against the Pope, the Cardinals,
and the Court were widely circulated and vastly appreciated
in Rome. Others substitute for the tailor a barber gifted
with the same satirical propensities. We owe to Count
Domenico Gnoli the revelation of the truth. 1
On April 25 of each year, being the feast day of St.
Mark the Evangelist, a procession used to start from the
1 Gnoli, Domenico, "Le origini di Maestro Pasquino" in Nuova Antologia,
48 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
church of S. Lorenzo in Damaso and pass in front of the
Pasquino and the Orsini palace, where the officiating priests
rested on a certain stone bench, decked for the occasion
with tapestries and evergreens. Cardinal Caraffa, consid-
ering that Pasquino was not fit to witness such a holy scene
in his battered condition, caused him to be restored in plaster
and dressed up for the occasion, the type and the costume
changing every year.
Thus between 1501 and
1507 he became in turn
Saturn, Jupiter, Miner-
va, Apollo, Mars, Mer-
cury, and Neptune ; he
became Arpokras in
1508, Janus in 1509,
Hercules in 1510,
"Mourning" in 1511,
and so on. The dis-
guises were chosen in
connection with the
greatest or latest event
of the year ; for in-
stance, " Mourning "
in 1511, on account
of Cardinal Caraffa's
death ; Hercules killing
the Hydra in 1510, on
account of Julius II.'s victories over the Venetians, etc.
The care of arranging Pasquino's disguises was entrusted
by Cardinal Caraffa to a certain Donato Poli, a lecturer on
geography in the university or " studio," as it was then
called ; a man deformed in appearance, surnamed by his
pupils " Diciamo, diciamo" (Let us say, let us say), because
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 49
he repeated these words with every utterance ; but other-
wise a good and serviceable friend, with longing aspirations
for the heights of Parnassus. Donate took advantage of
the festival of St. Mark to promote emulation among his
pupils, causing them to compose Latin or Italian elegies,
epigrams, and mottoes which were pasted on Pasquino's
The Fountain of the Comitium.
pedestal. The custom met with such favor, first with the
students, later on with the many poets of the court of Leo
X., that the number of verses rose from a few scores in
1501 to three thousand in 1509. Jacopo Mazochio, the
enterprising manager of the university press, at once saw
his chance of making a profit out of this competition ; but,
as the show lasted only a few hours, because the papers
were removed as soon as the procession had passed, and as
50 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
many fought for the privilege of reading and copying the
epigrams, Mazochio's reporters had a difficult time in ac-
complishing their task. His pamphlets, published year by
year under the title, " Carmina qua3 ad Pasquillum f uerunt
posita in anno ," have become exceedingly rare, only the
editions of 1509-1514, 1521, and 1525 having come down
to us. The others were probably lost in the Sacco di
A perusal of these pasquinades show them to be mostly
the work of inexperienced and silly boys ; they never deal
with politics or religion. Those, therefore, who have spoken
of Pasquino as waging a fierce war against the Popes, as
being imbued with a spirit of rebellion and reform, and
thrusting the darts of satire against the members of the
Curia, are altogether mistaken. The only strokes of license
to be noticed in these early pasquinades are directed against
professors of the university obnoxious to students, such as
Augusto Baldo from Padua, and his assistant Basilio Cal-
condila, who occupied the chair of Greek. The celebrations
were interrupted in 1517 by the sad end of their founder,
Donato Poli, who was killed with a hammer by his own valet
for the sake of the few florins he had saved out of a scanty
salary of 150 florins a year. The place of protector of
Pasquino had been taken by Cardinal Antonio del Monte
after the death of Caraffa, and the directorship of the com-
petition was given to Decio Sillano da Spoleto after the
murder of Donato. The institution collapsed altogether
with the Sacco di Roma. As long as Pasquino was left free
to speak, no harm was done ; but when the reaction against
the reform broke out under Adrian VI. and Paul IV., Pas-
quino became in some measure the anonymous organ of
public opinion, and part of the social system of Rome. It
is related that Adrian VI. attempted to stop his career by
THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM. 51
ordering the statue to be burnt and thrown into the Tiber,
but one of the courtiers, Ludovico Suessano, saved him by
suggesting that his ashes would turn into frogs and croak
more audaciously than ever.
Pasquino was not the only statue patronizing poetry in
Rome. There was another one quite celebrated at the
time, now almost lost in oblivion, the Sant' Anna of Jacopo
Sansovino, classed by Vasari amongst the masterpieces of
Italian art. The statue, which stands now in the church
of S. Agostino, on the second altar at the left, had been
originally set up against the third pilaster of the nave on
the same side of the church, below Raphael's fresco repre-
senting the prophet Isaiah and two angels holding a tablet.
Both painting and statue had been made at the expense of
Johann Goritz of Luxembourg, the Coricius of contem-
porary humanists, whose garden, on the slope of the Capito-
line hill towards Trajan's forum, planted with lemon-trees
and full of antiques, was the rendezvous of the learned men
of the age. Every year, on the feast day of Sant' Anna,
Coricius's friends would place by the statue in S. Agostino,
or hang to the lemon-trees of the garden, odes and sonnets
in praise of their kind host, which he collected and brought
home for remembrance. In the tenth year after the first
keeping of Sant' Anna's day, the bundle of MSS. was stolen
by Blosio Palladio, while Coricius was asleep, and printed as
a surprise to him (1524) under the title of " Coryciana." It
contains contributions from one hundred and thirty poets ;
among the names I notice that of Ulrich von Hutten, the
author of the incendiary epigrams to Rubiano on the state
of Papal Rome, who afterwards became one of the leaders
of the Reformation in Germany.
Poor old Coricius ! His end was nearly as cruel as that
of Donato Poli. During the fearful sack of 1527 he saw
52 THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN THE FORUM.
his house and his dear garden wrecked by the lansquenets,
and his money stolen, while he was nearly beaten to death.
Fleeing from the accursed city towards his native land, he
died at Mantua from grief and exhaustion.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
THE religion of the builders of Rome did not differ from
that of other superior races at an early stage of civilization.
They worshipped nature in its manifold manifestations, and
paid homage to the beings supposed to preside over the
necessities of life, to those who made the spring of Juturna
flow from the rocks upon which their village was perched,
who kept away the wolves from their flocks grazing on the
uplands of the Velia and the Oppian, who supplied their
hearthstones with fire, protected their ancestral fields from
the encroachments of neighbors, and their family tombs
from profanation, and who guaranteed the sanctity of
agreements, oaths, matrimony, and hospitality. It was only
at a later stage that the Romans borrowed new rites and
superstitions from the Sabines, the Etruscans, the Greeks,
the Egyptians, the Phrygians, and the Persians, in fact,
from every nation they came in contact with, or subju-
gated to their rule. The outcome of this process of assimi-
lation was a complicated religious syncretism, which had
no nationality or individuality of its own. Such has been
the evolution of all conquering nations ; in fact, the loss
of the original simplicity of faith seems to have been shared
by all races which have not kept themselves strictly apart
from the rest of mankind, or " walled themselves in " like
the sons of Sem in the far East.
The latest excavations along the " sacred way " of primi-
tive Rome have brought us in contact over and over again
54 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
with the centre of early Roman worship, when man lived
in harmony with nature, when every natural mystery was
to him a sacred one. In those early days, whenever the
intervention of the Deity was sought for in domestic emer-
gencies, the duty of performing the supplication rested,
naturally, with the paterfamilias; but when prayers and
sacrifices had to be offered for the sake of the whole village,
or tribe, or nation, the duty devolved upon a public delegate
or representative. The Latin tribes called to those high and
noble duties men who in their estimation ranked above
others, the "makers of roads and bridges," or, in short,
the " pontifices." Many etymologies have been suggested
for this word. Quint us Scsevola derived it from " posse "
and " facere " ; Varro from "pons " or bridge, because the
priests had thrown across the Tiber the first Roman bridge,
the Sublician. Others have suggested that " pontifex " is
a substitute for " pompifex," a leader of public* processions.
However, as the word " pons " originally meant " way," so
the word " ponti-fex " must mean a " maker of roads and
bridges." These men were certainly possessed of a great
geodetical knowledge and engineering skill. The " Terra-
mara," or prehistoric fortified station discovered by Pigorini
at Castellazzo di Fontanellato, of which I have given an
illustration in " Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome,"
p. 115, is a marvel and model of ingenuity, both in design
and in execution.
The dignity of supreme priesthood belonged to the king,
who, as the head of the state religion, performed his official
duties in a hut on the Sacra Via, near the place where the
public fire was kept, and watched by the Vestals. Vesta's
hut was round. The " Regia," as the High Priest's offices
were called, seems to have been in the shape of an oblong
square or parallelogram. Its first construction is attri-
PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF THE V
(Built over the Domus Publica of the time of Augu
LS, TIME OF SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS
From an aerial photograph by Captain Moris, R. E.)
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 55
buted to Numa, and it probably retained its original shape
and simplicity of style until its destruction by the Gauls in
B. c. 390.
After the overthrow of the monarchy, and the consequent
separation of the political from the religious power, the
Regia was used as the office of the supreme priesthood, not
as a dwelling-house for the Supreme Priest. The Regia was
a " fanum," viz., the habitation of gods, not of mortals ;
and we know besides, from other sources, that the Pontifex
dwelt in a separate house on the same Sacra Via, called the
" domus publica." We know, also, that when Augustus,
after an interval of four hundred and eighty-eight years,
united again in his own person the political and the reli-
gious power, as in the days of the Kings, and became Pon-
tifex Maximus, he built a new " domus publica " on the
Palatine and made a present to the Vestals of the old one.
Its remains are to be seen to the present day, below the
level of the house of the same virgins, with which they form
an angle of about 30. They include a small basilica with
a fine mosaic pavement, a court surrounded by a peristyle of
fluted stone columns coated with plaster, a " triclinium "
or dining hall, and other apartments in which every style
of masonry used in Rome from the Gaulish fire to the end
of the Republic is represented. The plan of this pontifi-
cal residence, the witness of so many historical events, can
be made out as far as the present stage of the excava-
tions allows it in the aerial view here reproduced. This
photograph was taken by that gallant officer of the Royal
Engineers, Cavaliere Moris, whose name I shall have occa-
sion to mention again with praise and gratitude in the
As regards the Regia, it survived the disastrous fires of
210, 148, and 36 B. c. and 65 A. D., down to the fall of the
56 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
Empire, a lovely marble building sheltering within its en-
closure or under its marble and mosaic pavements many
characteristics of the time of the Kings. Its plan, here
given for the first time, is difficult to understand in some
parts, altogether incomprehensible in others ; but our in-
vestigation of the place may be found easier if we recall
to mind the manifold duties devolving on the college of
the pontiffs, whose official residence it was. They were
entrusted with the care of regulating the worship of the
people, of watching over the maintenance of the public fire,
of keeping records of time, of registering great events
and prodigies, and of making seismic and meteorological
As far as the religious Code is concerned, it is enough to
say that it comprised two sections. One called the " Indi-
gitamenta " contained the authorized names of the gods
and explained the manner in which they were to be ad-
dressed in public worship ; the other contained ritual regu-
lations and the " jus pontificum." These fundamental
points of Roman religion, set down by Numa Pompilius,
were altered or more accurately defined in progress of time ;
hence the origin of the official bulletin of the supreme
priesthood, called " Commentarii sacrorum," intended to
bring to the notice of the public the new regulations, with
an explanatory text.
The pontiffs, as I have said, watched over the maintenance
of the public fire, and this with the help of the six Vestal
maidens, whose life and sacred ministry I have illustrated
at length in " Ancient Rome." If I mention here again the
institution common to all tribal settlements of prehistoric
ages, it depends on the fact that the Vestals did not repre-
sent an independent sisterhood, but they simply performed
duties which originally pertained to the pontifex. In fact,
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 57
the Regia was for our primitive Latin settlements (Bovilhe,
Velitrae, Lanuvium, Tusculum, etc.) what the Prytaneum
was in the Greek lands, when each tribal nucleus had a
Plan of the Regia of the time of the Flavians, built over the
old foundations of the time of the Kings.
common hearth in the chief's house. Any book on the
folk-lore and customs of primitive nations will show the
universality of this practice. The perpetual maintenance
of the fire was the duty of the chief, which he delegated
to his daughters or to his slaves ; in Latium, no doubt, to
daughters, who reappear in history as the Vestals. Hence
the connection both moral and material between the two
huts raised in the early days of Rome near the market
58 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
(Forum) and the village fountain (Juturna), which were
destined to become in progress of time, one the Regia, the
other the temple of Vesta.
The new search made through the cloisters in the sum-
mer of 1899 has led to no important results. These clois-
ters at least the wing which borders on the Nova Via
and supports its embankment, twenty-two feet high were
not a healthy residence. Their position right under the
shade of Caligula's palace, towering one hundred and fifty
feet above the floor of the Atrium, was most unfavorable,
and the rooms of the ground floor were so permeated with
damp as to be unfit for human habitation. To avoid the
evil, or rather to lessen its effects on the health of the sis-
ters, two precautions were taken. Double and triple walls
were set up against the embankment of the Nova Via, with
a free space between them to allow the circulation of dry
or hot air ; and the pavements of the cells were raised by
a couple of feet. This last operation was carried on rather
awkwardly, and in a way quite characteristic of the deca-
dence of sanitary engineering in Rome, in the course of the
fourth century. Thus, in the rooms on either side of the
Tablinum we find the later and higher pavements resting
on large earthen amphorae, sawn across into halves ; others
rest on brick supports, like those used in forming hypo-
causts ; others on a simple bed of rubbish. The most re-
markable fact is that, when this general raising of the floors
took place, the beautiful old pavements of the time of Julia
Domna were not taken up and made use of again, but left,
in a more or less perfect state, at the old level. Two or
three have just been rediscovered, and they are most beau-
tiful; their pattern is geometrical, and the marbles with
which they are inlaid (giallo and pavonazzetto for the
brighter tones, africano and portasanta for the shady effects)
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 61
harmonize so perfectly in color and shape as to please the
On December 17, 1899, a " ripostiglio," or hidden trea-
sure of gold pieces was discovered in a drain near the west
corner of the edifice. It consists of 397 aurei, which must
have been thrown into that strange place of concealment
in a leather bag, or done up in a piece of cloth. The oldest
coin dates from the time of Constantius II., 337-361 A. D. ;
the latest from that of Leo I., whose death took place in
474. By far the greatest number of pieces, three hundred
and more, belong to the Emperor Anthemius, son of Pro-
copius, slain by his son-in-law Ricimer in 467, while the
rarest of all bear the name and effigy of ^Elia Marcia
Euphemia, daughter of the Emperor Marcianus and wife of
It is difficult to connect the burial of this considerable
sum of money with any particular event in the history of the
disasters which befell the city at the end of the fifth cen-
tury. There is no doubt that the gold was thrown into the
cesspool under the apprehension of an impending pillage.
The house of the Vestals, abandoned by the sisterhood
since its suppression in 393, was probably falling into ruin,
and the owner of that little treasure selected the hiding-
place so skilfully that not only did it escape being plun-
dered by the barbarians, but the owner himself could not
recover it after the danger was over. Perhaps he lost his
life in the defence of the city ; perhaps he was carried away
into slavery ; perhaps the ceilings of this suite of rooms
fell to the ground, and the hiding-place was buried under
heavy masses of masonry.
The 397 aurei or solidi were found to weigh 1778
grammes, an average of 4 grammes apiece. There is,
however, considerable variation between the maximum
62 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
(4.515 gr.) and the minimum (4.250 gr.) in the fifty-six
varieties of coins. Considering that, by a decree issued by
Valentinian in 445 A. D., seventy-two solidi were required
to make a pound, we assume, from the most careful weigh-
ing of 300 solidi of Anthemius all sharp and fresh from the
mint, that the exact value of the pound in the first half of
the fifth century was 322.56 grammes.
Another quite recent discovery has stirred up once more
the controversy concerning the fate of the Vestal whose
name was erased from the pedestal discovered November 5,
1883, at the north corner of the cloisters, on the right of
the entrance door, a detailed account of which is given in
" Ancient Rome," p. 170. The inscription describes how
a statue and a pedestal had been raised in honor of . . . ,
high priestess, by the college of the pontiffs, as a testimonial
to her chastity and profound knowledge of religious mat-
ters. Why was the memory of such a chaste and learned
lady condemned, after the statue was set up A. D. 364, and
why was her name hammered away from the pedestal?
Probably because she became a Christian. An alleged con-
firmation of this surmise has been found in the discovery
made September 17, 1899, of a mutilated statue, which
seemed to have been purposely buried three feet below the
mosaic floor at the west corner of the Atrium, as if the
High Priests, not satisfied with the erasure of the abhorred
name of the traitress, had overthrown the statue, and buried
the scattered portions in various corners of the place. The
statement is absolutely fanciful, I am sorry to say ; the bat-
tered torso of the Vestal was not concealed from view out
of disrespect for the titular, but simply made use of by a
late occupant of the Atrium to repair the roof of a local
drain. The practice of using the finest productions of
classic sculpture for this disreputable purpose was rather
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 63
in vogue in mediaeval Rome. The exquisite panel from
the Basilica ^Emilia, reproduced on page 149, was discov-
ered by Boni walled in the ceiling of the sewer of the
street ad Janum. When Lorenzo Ghiberti visited Rome in
1420, a beautiful statue was discovered in his presence in
the drain which runs by the church of S. Celso in Banchi.
" I saw in the 440th Olympiad/' Ghiberti writes in Cod.
Magliabecch. XVII. n. 33, " a simulacrum of an hermaphro-
dite of the stature of a girl of thirteen, modelled with won-
derful grace, which had been placed across the drain of S.
Celso, to strengthen its ceiling. A sculptor who happened
to witness the find, caused the statue to be raised from its
disgraceful grave, and removed to the church of S. Cecilia,
where^ he was putting up the tomb of a cardinal." l My
own experience in this line of discoveries has been remark-
ably interesting. The frieze attributed by Visconti to the
temple of the Earth with scenes from the Gigantomachia ;
the trapezophoroi from the house of Numicius Pica Csesi-
anus on the Viminal, monuments of great artistic and ar-
chaBological value described in the " Bullettino Comunale,"
1874, p. 223, and 1887, p. 247, and the greater part of
the panels exhibited in the Sala delle Terre-cotte in the
Conservatori Palace, have experienced the same fate with
the statues of the Hermaphrodite of Ghiberti, and of the
Vestal Virgin lately found in the Atrium.
Prudentius, the prince of Christian poets, seems to allude
to the fate of this last priestess in his canticle to St. Law-
rence, when he says, " ^Edemque, Laurenti, tuam Vestalis
intrat Claudia " (Claudia the Vestal Virgin enters thy
shrine). These words are interpreted by Marucchi, not as
1 Probably of Cardinal Adam of Hertford, .who died 1397. The tomb, a
true gem of the early Renaissance, was pulled to pieces by Cardinal Sfrondato
64 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
a general and impersonal indication of the conquests made
by the gospel among the last champions of polytheism, but
as the proof of a special conquest, made in the Atrium
itself, of a distinguished priestess named Claudia ; 1 in
which case the mention of the Basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori
le Mura cannot be taken as fortuitous, but as the evidence
of a true and real event connected with the history of that
celebrated sanctuary. The tomb of the Levite on the Via
Tiburtina had been chosen in the fourth century as the
place where young men and young women would conse-
crate themselves to God, and pronounce the vows of chas-
tity. These scenes are represented on certain devotional
medals, two of which are here reproduced.
The first, discovered in 1636 in the Catacombs of Cyriaca
together with a glass cup upon which the heads of St. Peter
and St. Paul were designed in gold leaf, was purchased by
Claude Menetrier, and offered to Cardinal Francesco Bar-
berini. A bad mould of the lost original is exhibited in the
Vatican Library. It represents the consecration to God, on
the grave of St. Lawrence, of a girl named SVCCESSA. The
second, the origin of which is not recorded, represents sym-
bolically the sacrifice of Abraham, practically the offer made
to God by URBICVS of his son GAVDENTIANVS, the conse-
cration taking place, as usual, at the grave of the Levite.
These scenes help us to understand the meaning of the
verses of Prudentius ; in which he does not indulge in poet-
ical allusions, but mentions an historical fact, viz., the
abjuration of the Vestal Claudia in the Basilica of St.
Lawrence, and the iteration of her vows of chastity not to
Vesta but to the true God.
The Catacombs of Cyriaca, in the heart of which St.
Lawrence was buried, contain many authentic documents of
1 Marucchi in Nuovo Bullettino di arch, cristiana, 1899, p. '206.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 65
these " Gottgeweihten Jungfrauen," 1 such as the tomb-
stones of Lavinia, VIRGO DEI INIMITABILIS, who died April
3, 409, in her thirty-fifth year ; of Prsetextata, VIRGO SACRA,
who died August 6, 464 ; of Adeodata, VIRGO DIGNA ET
MERITA, " who lies here in peace by the will of her heav-
enly Spouse," and others. This is the reason why one of
the most favorite subjects for symbolic paintings in these
Medals of devotion of the sixth century, commemorative of the
consecration to God of boys and girls, and of their vows of chas-
tity pronounced at the grave of St. Lawrence.
special catacombs of Cyriaca is the parable of the wise and
foolish virgins. Now we cannot ascribe to a mere chance
1 Monsignor Giuseppe Wilpert, one of the leaders of the Roman school of
sacred archeology, has adopted this title for his learned treatise on Christian
Virgins published at Freiburg in 1892.
66 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
the finding, in these same crypts, of an epitaph inscribed
with the following verses :
" Claudia nobilium prolis generosa parentum
Hie iacet : hinc anima in carne redeunte resurget
JEternis Christi munere digna bonis."
(Here lies Claudia, daughter of noble parents, waiting for
the day of the Resurrection, to receive from Christ the gift
of perpetual happiness.) The Claudia of patrician birth,
buried among the virgins of God near the grave of St.
Lawrence, is manifestly the same noble girl whose secession
from the altar of Vesta is recorded by Prudentius, and
whose name is erased from the pedestal. By a fortunate
coincidence the first letter of the name erased can still be
made out, and it is a C, the initial of Claudia.
I have said that records of time, of important events, and
of prodigies were kept in the Regia. Time was recorded
by means of the " Fasti consulares," events by means of
the " Fasti triumphales " and of the " Annales maximi,"
while prodigies were registered by means of minutes com-
piled by the inquiring officers.
For nearly four centuries and a half after the foundation
of Rome the knowledge of the calendar was possessed exclu-
sively by the priests. One of them, the Rex sacrorum, on
the calends of each month announced to the people assem-
bled in the Curia Calabra, when the nones of that month
would fall (on the 5th, except in March, May, July, and
October, when they fell on the 7th); and on the nones
the people were again gathered in the Arx to be told what
feast-days fell in the remaining part of the month. In like
manner, all who wished to go to law were obliged to in-
quire of the priests on what day they might bring their suit,
and received the reply as from the lips of an astrologer.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 67
The whole of this lore, so long a source of power and profit
and therefore jealously enveloped in mystery, was at length
made public by a certain Cn. Flavius, scribe to Appius Clau-
dius Ca3cus, who, having gained access to the pontifical
The Kegia, from the Sacra Via.
books, copied out all the requisite information, and exhib-
ited it in the Forum for the use of people at large. From
this time forward such tables became common, and were
known by the name of " Fasti," 1 closely resembling a
Many of these Fasti have been found, in a more or less
fragmentary state, in my lifetime, the most important rep-
lica being the one discovered at Ca3re in 1873 by Luigi
Boccanera, the only one in which mention is made of the
birthday of Rome (April 21) :
FERzVc CORONATIS OMnibus
1 William Ridge way, in Smith's Diet, of Antiq. vol. i. p. 828.
68 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
More complete are the copies found in the sixteenth cen-
tury, when ancient monuments had not yet suffered irre-
parable injury at the hands of modern vandals. They are
known by the name of Fasti Pinciani, Venusini, Maffeiani,
Esquilini, Prsenestini, etc., from the place in which they
came to light, or to which they were removed. The calen-
dars are properly called Julian, because they are later than
the great reform of the year made by Julius Ca3sar B. c. 46,
and were destined to make the people of Rome and of the
surrounding towns acquainted with the new computation.
We owe to the same circumstance the composition of the
celebrated Fasti of Ovid, a poetical " year-book " or " com-
panion to the almanac " published to illustrate the reform
of the dictator. Ovid's work, however, is incomplete, and
deals only with the first six months of the year.
From these various elements Professor Mommsen was able
to reconstruct in 1863 the complete set of the " Commen-
tarii diurni," giving every possible detail for each day of
the year, one of the greatest epigraphic and archaeological
achievements of the age. 1
There is no doubt that the original copy of the re-
formed calendar must have been engraved on the walls of
the Regia, the official residence of the reformer ; and yet
while we are in possession of a considerable part of the
Fasti exhibited in the same place, not a fragment has been
found of the calendar.
These Fasti were discovered in 1546, during the memo-
rable campaign of destruction initiated by Paul III. in 1540
to provide materials for the " Fabbrica di S. Pietro." The
remains of the building were first seen at the bottom of the
trench on the fifteenth day of August ; a month later not a
1 Corpus Inscr. Lat. vol. i. pp. 382-410. Second edition by Mominsen and
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 69
vestige was left to tell the tale. Panvinio and Ligorio, both
witnesses of the proceedings, say that the beautiful building
was so far intact at the moment of the discovery that a
whole column or page of the Fasti, engraved in the space
or panel between two pilasters, was still in situ (" loco an-
tiquo mota non fuerat "), so that Michelangelo and Ligorio
himself found no difficulty in designing the plan and the
architectural details of the structure. Other inscribed blocks
having been found out of place, a careful search was made
in various directions by means of tunnels bored in the bank
of rubbish. Ligorio adds that the find was made half way
between the arch of Fabius and the temple of Castor.
The vandals of the " Reverenda Fabbrica " did not even
tarry to reach the ancient level to indulge in their destruc-
tive errand, but sold the exquisitely carved blocks to lime-
burners and stonecutters as fast as they appeared in the
trench. Some were hammered into chips and thrown into
the limekiln, others sawn into slabs or transformed into new
shapes. The reader may form an estimate of the irrepara-
ble losses inflicted on the Regia between August 15 and
September 14, 1546, from the fact that the few architectu-
ral fragments reproduced on pages 70, 71 are the only
ones, as far as I know, that escaped destruction ; and yet so
indifferent were the learned men of the age to the fate of
the glorious ruins of Rome, that Panvinio himself ends his
account of these sad events by raising a canticle of praise
to Paul III. under whose " felicissimus principatus " they
had taken place.
The Fasti consulares et triumphales would probably have
shared the same fate but for the intervention of Cardinal
Alessandro Farnese, who rescued them from the hands of
the contractors, and removed them to his own garden of
La Farnesina, according to Metellus to his palace, accord-
70 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
Fragments of the architecture of the Kegia.
ing to Marliano. Such a valuable set of historical records,
however, was not destined to remain long in private hands.
Yielding to a request of the city magistrates, that kind
prince of the church made a present of the set to his
fellow-citizens, and the Fasti were thus removed to the
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 71
middle north room of the Conservator! Palace on the Capi-
tol, with the help of Michelangelo for the architectural
part, while the epigraphical was entrusted to a committee
of learned men, Antonio Agostino, Gabriele Faerno, Ottavio
Pantagato, Bartolomeo Marliano, and Tommaso Cavalieri,
presided over by Gentile Delfini.
We cannot, however, take the word of Panvinio and Li-
gorio in too strict a sense, as if the builders of St. Peter's
Fragments of a frieze, probably of the Reg-ia.
had found the Regia intact, and as if they were the first to
lay hands on the sacred edifice. The destructive process
had been inaugurated long before the time of Paul III.
A fragment of the Fasti (from A. u. 386 to 396), after
having served as threshold for the church of S. Maria in
Publicolis, in the fifteenth century, had been saved from
destruction by the sacristan, and set into the wall of the
adjoining house belonging to Prospero di Santa Croce ; l
another, dated A. u. 766, was seen by Fra Giocondo da
Verona about 1485, in the house of Antonio dei Rustici ; a
third, dated from the first Punic war, was copied by Mazo-
1 Compare Huelsen, Corpus Inscr. Lat. vol. i. second ed. 1893, p. 1.
72 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
chio in 1511, in the house of Francesco de' Fabii, etc. The
present excavations of the Forum have supplied us with
another proof that marbles were removed from the Regia,
even before the fire and pillage of Robert the Norman, A. D.
1081, when the Forum was still free from all accumulation
of rubbish. In clearing away a section of the Basilica
^Emilia which had been occupied by a public office (for the
collecting of taxes ?) about the time of Charlemagne, a
valuable fragment of the same records was found, used, as
in the case of S. Maria in Publicolis, for a threshold. The
block of marble, which must have originally contained
some thirty lines of consular names, has been so mutilated
by the chisel of the stonecutter, and so worn away by the
rubbing of feet, that only the names of the " tribuni mili-
tum " for the year 374, and of the consuls for the years
422-424, can be read. Yet the fragment, mutilated as it
is, enables us to correct both Livy and Diodorus as regards
the number and the names of the tribuni. Diodorus, xv.
50, mentions only seven, Livy, vi. 27, only six ; the newly
found fragment from the Regia mentions nine, with names
and genealogy in full, ending with the record that towards
the end of that year Cincinnatus was appointed dictator
to defend the City from the attack of the Prsenestinians.
Record is also made of the dictatorship of Cnsetis Quintius
Capitolinus A. u. 423, " clavi figendi causa." This very
old custom of driving a nail into the right side of the cella
of Jupiter's temple on the Capitol, on September 13, ori-
ginated from the Etruscans, who used to keep account of
the years in this primitive fashion. In progress of time the
ceremony was performed only under extraordinary circum-
stances, to avert the spreading of the plague, to expiate a
great crime, to call back to obedience the disaffected ple-
beians, and the- like. The occasion for driving the nail
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 73
A. u. 423 was found in a sudden and terrible influx of
mortality among the patrician families. Doubts were at first
entertained as to whether the mortality was due to natural
causes, or to a murderous conspiracy. The theory of whole-
sale poisoning prevailed as usual in these contingencies,
and one hundred and seventy matrons of noble birth were
sentenced to death. It is the old story of the Untori, so
impressively described by Manzoni in connection with the
Plague of Milan of 1630. This valuable fragment of the
Remains of a mediaeval building occupying part of the Basilica ^Emilia, where an
important fragment of the Fasti has been found, used as a threshold at the point
history of republican Rome was discovered at the point
marked A in the preceding illustration.
To return to the excavations of 1546, we learn from
Panvinio another curious particular, viz., that the Regia had
been occupied in the darkest period of the middle ages by
a double colony of marble-cutters and limeburners, both of
74 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
The entrance to the Regia, from the east.
which companies had left traces of their sinister work.
Panvinio saw a limekiln of considerable size, with a layer of
half-charred marble blocks at the bottom, while others had
been spared from the fire to be sawn in slabs, " on which
were carved birds, flowers, Solomon's knots, and other bar-
barous and utterly senseless ornamentations which we see so
often carved on the panels of pulpits and choirs in mediaeval
churches." Panvinio obviously refers to the workshop of
a Roman " marmorarius " of the eighth or ninth century,
who, for the sake of the materia prima, had established
himself amidst the marble buildings at the east end of the
Forum. Giacomo Boni has discovered in this same neigh-
borhood a block showing, on one side, a cross of the Caro-
lingian age, with the four branches bent apart in the form
of a spiral, and, on the other, exquisite mouldings of the
time of the Flavians. 1
1 See Boni's article in the Nineteenth Century for April, 1900, p. 637.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 75
Notwithstanding these antecedents, it is evident that if
the contractors for the " Fabbrica di S. Pietro " had not
met with the remains of the Regia in their ferocious cam-
paign of 1546, we should now behold not the bare, shapeless
platform shown on page 74, but a tasteful little architec-
tural jewel, not unlike the one reproduced in the accom-
panying cut from a sketch by Pirro Ligorio, who claims to
have made it while the building was being pulled to pieces.
Another duty which devolved on the College of the
Pontiffs was to inquire into the prodigious manifestations
and strange incidents by which the gods were supposed to
The Regia, from a sketch taken in 1566, by Pirro Ligorio.
forewarn men of impending calamities ; and because these
calamities were believed to threaten the nation more than
single individuals, the Senate also took a share in the in-
quest and in the selection of the rites, sacrifices and expia-
tions best calculated to appease the wrath and avert the
76 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
vengeance of the gods. Livy's chronicle of the " prodigia "
which marked the advent of every new year at the time
of the Punic wars is quite extraordinary ; but we must
acknowledge, in justice to him, that he does not rely much
on the trustworthiness of the reports which he had collected
from the pontifical archives. Speaking of the wonderful
manifestations reported for the year 214 B. c., Livy declares
that in many cases they were the outcome of excited imagi-
nations, ready to find credit among the lower classes terri-
fied by the events of the war. The prodigies were of two
kinds : those that could be traced back to natural agencies
acting under the will of the gods, such as thunderbolts
striking sacred edifices, rivers overflowing their banks, fires,
earthquakes, hurricanes, plague, mortality among the ani-
mals, etc., and those essentially supernatural and miraculous
which manifested the direct will of the gods.
The records for the year 214 B. c., the fifth of the sec-
ond Punic war, include the following entries. In Rome
the Tiber twice submerged the lower quarters and the sub-
urbs, carrying away houses and farms with a great loss of
men and cattle. The vestibule of the Capitol and the tem-
ple of Vulcan were struck by lightning, as well as a walnut-
tree in the Sabine hills, and the walls and one of the gates
at Gabii. In Rome, likewise, a shower of blood fell in the
Forum Boarium ; a jet of water burst out in the street of
the Insteii with terrific force ; and an apparition of hostile
legions hurrying to storm the city was seen on the Janicu-
lum. Ravens had built their nest inside the temple of Juno
Sospita at Lanuvium ; the pool of the Mincio, by which
Mantua is surrounded, had suddenly taken a bloody color ;
a shower of lapilli had fallen at Gales ; the spear of Mars in
the temple at Prseiieste had been seen to move ; an infant
had been heard to cry out " lo triumphe ! " while still " in
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 77
utero matris"; women had been turned into men at Spo-
leto ; and lastly, celestial figures, clad in white garments, had
been seen at Hadria among the clouds, gathered around an
There is a fragmentary treatise, entitled " De Prodigiis "
or " Prodigiorum Libellus," containing a chronological en-
try of these strange happenings from the consulship of Scipio
and Laelius, B. c. 190, to that of Fabius and ^Elius, B. c. 11.
The book which bears the name, otherwise unknown,
of C. Julius Obsequens is simply an abridgment of Livy,
almost word for word, made by an anonymous compiler of
the fourth century.
One set of prodigies, the oscillation of the spears of
Mars, is strictly connected with the Regia. The formula
with which the phenomenon was registered in the pontifi-
cal diaries is always the same, if we may trust those that
have come down to us, either directly or from the abridg-
The Regia, from the west.
78 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
ment of Livy : " hastse Martis motse " (B. c. 184) ; "hastse
Martis in Regia mot*" (B. c. 119, 100, 97) ; " hastse Mar-
tis in Regia sua sponte motse " (B. c. 104). These spears
wooden rods with points of metal were venerated in a
" sacrarium " or inner room of the Regia, as having be-
longed to the mythical father of the first king and founder
of Rome. They were probably two in number, certainly
more than one, as they are invariably alluded to by ancient
writers in the plural. Giacomo Boni recognizes the inner-
most sanctuary of Mars, where the hastse were kept, in the
circular structure represented in the accompanying view
(page 77), but whether his conjecture is acceptable or not,
I agree with him on one point : that the sacrarium was in a
certain sense a seismic observatory. We cannot state with
certainty how the spears were suspended so as to register
the smallest oscillations ; but whatever the arrangement
was, we know that their vibration was considered to be
the forerunner of disaster, to be averted only by the most
solemn sacrifices. Aulus Gellius distinctly affirms that
they were shaken by earthquakes; and the fact that several
propitiations were offered in succession indicates that fresh
shocks were always expected and dreaded. In this re-
spect the hastse Martis can properly be compared with the
" ancilia " or shields kept in the assembly room of the Salii
on the Palatine, which were likewise believed to be stirred
occasionally by a supernatural power when a special expia-
tory ceremony was required.
As the official residence of the Pontifex Maximus, the
Regia was the home of Julius Caesar during the greater
part of his public life. He did not actually dwell in
it, but in a house on the opposite site of the lane, called
Domus Publica, or Domus Pontificis, or Domus C. Csesaris.
The living and the official apartments were, however, so
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 79
closely connected that what is related of one may be applied
to the other. Pliny describes the spreading of awnings
over the Sacra Via and the Forum " from the house of
Caesar to the Capitol," on the occasion of a gladiatorial
show which he offered to the people. " Here took place
the scandalous intrusion of Clodius at the festival of the
Bona Dea, which induced Caesar to divorce his wife Pom-
peia, though he refused to bring Clodius to law, alleging
as his reason for the divorce that his wife must be above
suspicion. Cicero in a letter to Attic us alludes to a visit
paid by the latter to the Regia, when after the battle of
Pharsalus it had become a necessity to court Caesar's pardon
or protection." Here also took place the meetings for the
Julian reform of the calendar, from which point of view
the Regia and its annex, the Domus Publica, bring to
mind the Casino Sora Boncompagni at Frascati, where a
similar operation took place in 1582, in the time of Pope
Gregory XIII. From the same house Caesar set forth on
the fatal Ides of March, B. c. 44, alarmed by the ominous
dreams of his wife Calpurnia and by other evil presages ;
and hither his lifeless body was brought back from the
lobby of Pompey's theatre, and cremated, as the historians
say, " in the Forum, where the Romans place their ancient
A very interesting discovery has been made in connection
with these events. We knew from the description by Sue-
tonius that the partisans of the murdered hero had set up
a column of Numidian marble (giallo antico) on the site
where the pyre had been formed, inscribed PABENTI PATRICE
(to the Father of the country). An altar was placed at the
foot of the pillar, which became for some time the centre
of a rather irregular worship, to which one of the consuls,
1 Nichols's Forum, p. 122.
80 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
C. Antonius, soon put a stop by hurling down from the
Tarpeian Rock those among the worshippers who were
Roman citizens, and by crucifying those who were artisans
and slaves. At the same time the column and the altar
were overthrown by order of the other consul, Dolabella,
the son-in-law of Cicero. These violent measures gave rise
to a popular outbreak, followed by other executions, until
the Triumvirs at last gave satisfaction to the hero-worship-
pers by raising a temple inscribed DIVO IVLIO, which was
brought to completion by Augustus.
The discovery to which I refer is that of the exact spot
where the body of the great man was incinerated. (See
page 83.) It is marked by an altar or, to speak more
accurately, by the core of an altar built of concrete with
chips of Numidian marble, that is, with the fragments of
the original column set up on the site of the incineration
and overthrown by DolabeUa. If we remember what a
prominent place belongs to Caesar in the history of Rome,
in the history of the world, we cannot help feeling a deep
gratification at being able to behold again this plain slab
of stone which has actually been in contact with his mor-
tal remains, and which marks the beginning of his second
life as a deified man, as a god of the Roman Olympus.
It has been observed that, whatever may have been the
sentiment of Eastern or Hellenic nations on the subject of
attributing divine honors to their heroes, who had lived
mortal lives, the Romans hesitated for many a century to
adopt the fashion. They were more bent on worshipping
abstractions than individuals ; but towards the end of the
Republic, under the influence of Asianized Greek ideas,
they began to believe that, while all souls were immortal,
those of the great and good were divine. Antistius Labeo
actually wrote a book about this time on gods that had
THE TEMPLE OF C/ESAR AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
(From an aerial photograph taken by Captain Moris, R. E.)
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 83
been men (de diis animalibus], and little by little the ideas
of the few and enlightened became the ideas of the " vulgus
profanum." The time was fully ripe for deification to be
practised in Rome, and the man came. Julius Caesar's
brilliant military exploits abroad, and his overthrowing the
tyrannical aristocracy at home, made him the adored of
the people. When Octavian Augustus celebrated in his
The exact place where the body of Caesar was cremated.
honor the games of Venus Genetrix, considered to be the
ancestral goddess of the Julian family, and a comet ap-
peared in the heavens, described by Dion Cassius, xiv. 7,
the opinion that Ca3sar had become a god became universal.
Next year, 43 B. c., Ca3sar was solemnly enrolled among
the gods by a law of the Senate, called " lex Rufrena,"
under the name " Divus Julius." From this time down-
1 Corpus Inscr. i. 626 ; ix. 2628.
84 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
wards the name " Divus " acquired the specific meaning of a
god who had been a man, while "Deus" was a god from the
beginning. It is still alive in some branches of the Christian
church as an epithet of saint ; in fact, as Boissier remarks
in his book "La Religion romaine" (vol. i. p. 180), apothe-
osis among the ancients corresponds in many respects with
It is high time, however, that we should leave the Regia
and continue our peregrination up the " Clivus Sacra? Vise "
towards the summit of the ridge on which the arch of Titus
now stands. The aspect of the ascent is quite different
to-day from what it appeared two years ago, before the be-
ginning of the present excavations ; we seem to be crossing
a district fresh from pillage and devastation, levelled to the
ground by the violence of man combined with the destruc-
tive powers of nature. And yet this section of the Sacred
Way was once the most fashionable rendezvous of Roman
society, lined by the richest and most fascinating shops of
the Capital. On the right of the ascent were those of the
jewellers and goldsmiths and makers of musical instruments,
while florists, chemists, and perfumers displayed their goods
on the opposite side. Here were also the consulting rooms
of fashionable physicians ; and here, partly on the site of
the present Basilica Constantiniana, rose the Horrea Pipera-
taria, an institution of the time of Domitian, the scope of
which was to provide the City with a general storehouse for
the preservation and sale of spices, such as are described
by Pliny in the twelfth book, and especially of pepper,
which the Romans had learned to use after the conquest
of Greece. The pepper came from the East Indies by the
way of the Red Sea, and was probably landed at Berenice
or at Myoshormos, from whence caravans carried it to
Coptos, called by Pliny " Indicarum Arabicarumque mer-
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 85
cium Nilo proximum emporium " (the emporium on the
Nile, for Indian and Arabic wares). The road travelled
over by these caravans, 257 miles long according to Pliny,
258 miles according to the itineraries of Antoninus and
Peutinger, was provided with reservoirs of water in the
intermediate halting-places of Apollonos, Compasi, and so
on, and with military outposts against the robbers of the
desert. These particulars have been made known by the
inscriptions discovered by Maspero at Kuft, in March, 1883,
and commented upon by Mommsen in vol. v., 1884, of the
" Ephemeris Epigraphica."
The Romans used black as well as white pepper, and
obtained the variety by the different treatment of the berry.
The spice was served in elegant " piperatoria " or pepper-
boxes, which ancient writers describe among the silver
plate. The only one of these objects with which I am
acquainted is, in fact, of silver, in the form of a Nubian
slave wearing a hooded cloak, bored with small holes. It
was discovered at Cahors, in France, in 1885, and is now
exhibited in the British Museum. Pepper was held in
such esteem that the chronographer of A. D. 354 registers
as a singular event of the reign of Augustus the arrival of
a ship from Alexandria, carrying " 400 measures of wheat,
pepper, paper, and the obelisk which is now in the Circus
The Horrea Piperataria of Domitian were destroyed in
the fire of 191, shortly before the death of Commodus, to-
gether with the entire quarter crossed by the Clivus Sacrse
Viae. The texts of Galenus, of Dion Cassius, and of Hero-
dianus, which describe this catastrophe, have been collected
and illustrated by Nibby. 1 Galenus, whose consulting
1 Sopra V edificio vofgarmente chiamato Tempio della Pace. Rome, de Ro-
86 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
rooms and pharmacy were located on the same street, and
almost in contact with the Horrea, lost in the fire the
manuscript of his first two books, which he had inadver-
tently left on the desk.
The Horrea Piperataria never rose again from their ashes
after the second conflagration. Maxentius changed the
aspect of the whole district. He began by spreading on
the spot the materials of the gutted buildings, thus raising
the level of the Clivus SacraB Vise by about six feet. Over
this bed of rubbish, by which the last remains of the Horrea
were concealed from view, he laid out his new street, to
which we ought to attribute the praise bestowed by Cara-
calla's biographer on his new street Antoniniana : " pulcher-
rima inter Romanas plateas" (the finest of Roman avenues)!
Instead of a narrow tortuous lane, without sidewalks and
lined with shops, Maxentius carried a magnificent road
up the slope of the Velia, a road perfectly straight, 181
metres long, 23 metres wide, 1 lining it on the north side
with the temple of his son Romulus and with a basilica or
court-house, on the south side with a stately portico, called
Porticus Margaritaria from the jewellers whose shops
opened under its arcades. And although the road and its
surroundings must have had the same heavy and clumsy
aspect which seems to be characteristic of the public struc-
tures of the Constantinian age, it was nevertheless unique of
its kind in Rome " latissima," if not " pulcherrima inter
Romanas plateas." The noble avenue is no more. It has
been obliterated to the last vestige to lay bare-the pavement
1 Including the sidewalks, which are 8.20 metres and 2.50 metres wide
respectively. Its first discovery took place in 1818, as described by Nibby,
Fea, and de Romanis. It has since been laid bare under my personal direction,
partly in 1878-9, partly in 1882, an operation which I have described and illus-
trated in the Notizie degli Scavi for 1879, pp. 14, 113, pi. vii., and for 1882,
p. 216, pi. xiv.-xvi.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 87
The Clivus Sacrae Viae of the time of Domitian, discovered June, 1899.
of the Sacred Way of the time of Commodus or Domitian.
What we have left to remember it by are the official account
and maps published in the " Notizie degli Scavi " for 1879
and 1882, sheet twenty-ninth of my " Forma Urbis," and a
narrow belt or section in front of the temple of Romulus,
which is also destined to disappear.
The basilica raised by Maxentius on the site and over
the remains of the storehouses for oriental spices was called
at first the Basilica Nova. It seems that when Maxentius
lost his life in the battle of Saxa Rubra, October 27, 312, the
building was nearly completed, because a silver medallion
bearing the legend MAXENTIUS P(ius) F(elix) Avo(ustus)
was discovered in 1828, embedded in a block of masonry
fallen from the vaulted ceiling of the nave ; the Senate,
however, changed its name of Nova into that of Constan-
tiniana to please the victorious prince. It was known in
the middle ages as the Temple of Peace, a name which is
still attached to the street leading from the basilica towards
the Carinse (Via del Tempio della Pace). Nibby gave back
88 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACK A VIA.
to it its classic and genuine denomination, not without oppo-
sition from his colleague, Carlo Fea ; the correspondence
they exchanged, and the pamphlets they wrote on this sub-
ject, are so filled with bitterness and vituperation, espe-
cially on Fea's side, that one would think they were engaged
in a political discussion.
There are a few points in the history of this edifice but
little known to students. I have found in the city archives
a deed of 1547 by which the city magistrates give permis-
sion to Eurialo Silvestri from Cingoli to lay out a garden
on the roof of the north aisle, which he filled with works of
statuary. The hanging garden and the grounds by which
the basilica is surrounded on the east side became later on
the property of Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, towards the
end of the century, and of Cardinal Alessandro de' Medici,
who collected within their precincts such a number of
statues, busts, pedestals, and inscriptions that few other
private museums in Rome could stand comparison with these
" giardini di S. Maria Nuova."
Another interesting chapter could be written about the
fate of the eight columns of Proconnesian marble which
supported the vaulted ceiling of the nave of the basilica,
and of the four columns of porphyry which decorated its
side entrance. The broken shafts were made use of for the
rebuilding of St. Peter's ; one whole column was removed
to the Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore by Paul V. in 1613,
and set up in honor of the Virgin Mary. The diameter of
these pillars was so great that Simone Maschino of Carrara
was able to cut out of a single block the group representing
the Duke Alessandro Farnese crowned by a Victory, with
the allegorical figures of the river Scheldt and of Flanders
at his feet, which group is now exhibited in the great hall
of the Farnese palace.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 89
The newly discovered ascent of the Sacred Way is con-
nected with a more or less legendary event of the apostolic
age, the flight and the fall of Simon the Magician. Two
facts concerning the career of this extraordinary adven-
turer are accepted as historical facts by Tillemont, Fabiani,
and de Rossi, on the authority of Justin, of Irenseus, and of
the " Philosophumena," namely, that he did profess occult
sciences in Rome at the time of Nero, and that he came in
contact and in opposition either with Peter alone or with
Peter and Paul. The incident of the flight, however, is a
later addition, of the end of the third or of the beginning of
the fourth century. It appears for the first time in the
Acta Petri cum Marcello and again in the pseudo-Marcellus.
According to these apocryphal documents, Simon, the Samar-
itan sorcerer from Gitton, the arch-heresiarch, the father of
simony, named by the people " that power of God which is
called great," annoyed at the behavior of the Romans who
were abandoning him to follow the teaching of St. Peter,
announced that he would ascend to heaven to complain of
their conduct to God his father. A large crowd gathered
on the Sacred Way to see him fulfil his promise ; and he
had actually begun to lift himself up in the air, when Peter
prayed God to unmask the impostor before the crowd, and
let him fall without great injury to his limbs. The request
of the apostle was granted, and Simon dropped on the lava
pavement of the road, breaking his right leg in three
places. His followers removed him in a stretcher first to
Aricia, later to Terracina, where he died under the care of
the attending physicians.
This legend must be relegated among the many similar
ones, composed and circulated in Rome after the peace of
the Church, to please and interest the lower classes, " le
populaire," as Duchesne calls them, still wavering between
90 THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA.
the religion of their ancestors and the Gospel. These
pious novels of the fourth century, the pseudo-Linus, the
pseudo-Marcellus, the Acta Apostolorum, the Passiones
Marty rum, the Acta Petri cum Simone, etc., while they
imagine or alter facts, are perfectly genuine as far as topo-
graphical details are concerned ; and the reason is clear.
While nobody could challenge their accuracy as regards
events which had taken place in bygone times, especially in
times of persecution, any blunder about places and monu-
ments would be at once detected by the reader. The more
these novels respected topographical exactitude, the more
chance they had to pass as genuine.
This story of Simon the Sorcerer, brought down in his
audacious flight by the superior power of Simon the Apos-
tle, took Rome by storm, and from Rome spread through
all the provinces of the Empire, never losing its popularity
down to our own times. It is mentioned in book ii. of
the Apology of Arnobius, written about A. D. 303, in the
contemporary Acta Petri cum Simone, in the letters of the
Legates of Pope Liberius to Eusebius, bishop of Vercellae
A. D. 355, and in the " Hsereses " of Epiphanius, where the
accident is described to have taken place " in the middle
of the city of the Romans." These documents agree in
stating that the evidence of the prodigy could be gathered
" to the present day " (usque in hodiernum diem) from the
paving-stones of the Sacred Way itself, one of which bore
the marks of the knees of St. Peter and St. Paul, when they
knelt to beg God to unmask the impostor ; while another,
of extraordinary size, had been miraculously coagulated, as
it were, out of four paving-stones upon which the limbs of
Simon had been scattered by the fall.
Speaking of these details, de Rossi says 1 that while the
1 Bull. Crist., 1867, p. 71.
THE NEW DISCOVERIES ON THE SACRA VIA. 91
silence of Justin, of Irenseus, and of the Philosophumena
impels us to deny the truth of the legend as far as the
apostles are concerned, it seems certain, on the other hand,
that a man skilled in the secrets of nature, a student of
aeronautics, a classic precursor of Montgolfier, a man used to
performing on the stage the part of the " Deus ex machina,"
had attempted to imitate before the Emperor Nero the flight
of Icarus. The inventor and his machine came to grief,
hut it is only at the end of the third century that Peter and
Paul are made to appear on the scene, and cross the path
of the sorcerer.
The alleged miraculous stones with the impression of the
knees of St. Peter were removed from the pavement of the
Clivus Sacrse Viae to the church of S. Maria Nova, now
S. Francesca Romana, about A. D. 1375. Before that time
they were shown to the pilgrims in their original place,
where they had given rise to the following superstitious
practices. On stormy days the rain water descending the
steep slope of the clivus would fill up the two cavities,
where, according to the statement of Gregory of Tours,
ailing pilgrims drank it or signed or washed themselves
with it, with the most satisfactory results ; " haustseque mox
sanitatem tribuebant ! " The stones are still visible at the
right end of the transept of S. Francesca Romana, set into
the wall near the tomb of Gregory XI. Unfortunately the
recent discovery of the Clivus Sacrae Via3 proves that since
the attempt of Simon the Magician, certified by Dion Cas-
sius, Suetonius, and Juvenal, the pavement of the road has
been destroyed, relaid, and raised to a higher level at least
twice ; and that the one on which the alleged marks of the
prodigy were shown to medieval pilgrims had been made
ex novo by Maxentius some 225 years after the prodigy
had taken place !
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES.
THE first gods to whom divine honors were offered by
the builders of the Palatine city were those who supplied
their hearthstones with fire, made their crops prosper and
ripen, protected their flocks and their ancestral fields from
the rapacity of men and of beasts of prey, helped them to
quench their thirst, or get rid of their ailments at the pure
healing springs, and to find shelter and shade in the fra-
grant groves with which their hillsides were clothed. All
is simple and pastoral in the tribute of gratefulness that the
primitive Romans were wont to offer to the merciful beings,
whose protection they enjoyed ; and never the lyre of classic
poets has found a sweeter rhythm than when the canticle is
addressed to the sacred springs and to the sacred groves.
" O Fons Bandusise, splendidior vitro,
dulci digne mere," etc.
" Spring of Bandusia, more clear than glass, worthy of
pleasant wine and flowers withal, to-morrow shalt thou be
presented with . . . the offspring of the playful herd . . .
Thou to oxen wearied with the ploughshare, and to the
wandering herd, dost afford a delicious coolness. Thou
also shalt become one of the ennobled fountains, when I
sing of the ilex-tree set upon the hollow crags, from whence
thy babbling brooks dance down." So Horace addresses
the spring flowing by his farmhouse of Digentia, the ruins
1 Horace, Od. iii. 13, Lonsdale and Lee's translation, London, Macmillan,
1874, p. 64.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 93
of which are still shown in the upper valley of the Licenza,
above the village of Roccagiovine.
Pliny, speaking of the great love for nature displayed by
noble Romans, mentions Passienus Crispus, orator, consul,
husband of Agrippina, and Nero's stepfather, who owned a
grove on a hill near Tusculum named Corne, 1 where lived
a, tree which he cherished and worshipped above all things.
He would embrace it, and lie under its shade, and pour
wine on its roots. The same grove contained another ven-
erable ilex-tree, thirty-four feet in circumference, which, at
a great height from the ground, divided itself into ten
branches, each equalling a large trunk in size. Pliny calls
The valley of the Anio near Roccagiovine.
this ilex a forest by itself. There is no doubt that love of
nature and appreciation for natural beauty were instinc-
tive among the Greeks, and, in a lesser degree, among the
Romans. It is revealed in the graceful shape of their
temples, in the harmony of their polychrome ornamentation,
in the arrangement of their floral decorations, and above
1 The present Villa Cavalletti, west of Frascati.
94 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
all in the selection of sites for their places of worship. In
this last respect they remain unrivalled. The following
lines were suggested to Chateaubriand by the sight of the
temple of Minerva on the promontory of Sunium. " The
Greeks," he says, " excelled not less in the choice of the
sites of their edifices than in the architecture of the temples
themselves. Most of the promontories of the Peloponnese,
of Attica, Ionia, and the islands of the Archipelago were
crowned with temples, trophies, and tombs. These monu-
ments, surrounded by woods and rocks, viewed in all the
accidents of light, sometimes enveloped in sable thunder-
clouds, sometimes reflecting the soft beams of the moon,
the golden rays of the setting sun, or the radiant tints of
the dawn, must have imparted incomparable beauty to the
coasts of Greece. Thus decorated, the land presented itself
to the mariner under the features of the ancient Cybele,
who, crowned with towers and seated on the shore, com-
manded her son Neptune to pour forth his waves at her
" Christianity, to which we are indebted for the only species
of architecture conformable to our manners, also taught us
the proper situations for our structures. Our (mediaeval)
chapels, our abbeys, our monasteries, were scattered among
woods and upon the summits of hills, not that the choice of
sites was always a premeditated design of the architect, but
because art, when in unison with the customs of a nation,
adopts instinctively the best methods that can be pursued."
And speaking of the present degeneration of feeling on
this point, especially in connection with civic edifices, he
adds : " Did we ever think, for instance, of adorning the only
eminence that overlooks Paris ? Religion alone thought of
this for us." 1 He could have mentioned likewise Notre
1 Travels in Greece, Pnlestine, etc., by F. A. de Chateaubriand, translated by
Frederic Shoberl, 2d ed., London, Colburn, 1812.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 95
Dame de Fourvieres at Lyons, Notre Dame de la Garde at
Marseilles, Notre Dame of the Haute Ville at Boulogne, and
many others, which appear to the pilgrim and to the mari-
ner in the same glorious light as the shrines and temples
which once crowned the headlands of the ./Egean and the
Were we to take a survey of the Campagna, and of the
various ranges of mountains by which it is framed, from a
lofty point of vantage, from the dome of St. Peter's, for
instance, or from the belfry of S. Maria Maggiore, we
should be surprised at the number of high peaks consecrated
to the Deity in ancient or medieval times, but which the
modern generations have deprived of their beautiful ruins
and their beautiful clothing of green. From the Mons Al-
banus, upon which stood the federal temple of Jupiter, to
the Mons Afflianus, crowned by the temple of the Bona
Dea, and to Soracte, once sacred to Apollo, each summit
once bore a white temple visible from every corner of the
old land of Saturn, or a mediaeval abbey, under the roof of
which the weary pilgrim might find rest, help, and protec-
tion. Temples and churches have equally disappeared ; and
woe to the lonely traveller seeking shelter from the fury of
the storm, or advice about his lost track. Silence and deso-
lation reign alone on the abandoned peaks !
Early Roman religion can best be studied in two institu-
tions which date from the beginning of the City, the sister-
hood of the Vestals and the priesthood of the Arvales. I
have spoken at length of the first in chapter vi. of " Ancient
Rome," and I have nothing to add to the account already
given. Before entering, however, into the subject of the
Arvales, I must mention another branch of rural worship,
that of the gods who protected the ancestral field from the
encroaching of the neighbor.
96 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
The early settlements in the lower valley of the Tiber,
Antemnae, Fidense, Collatia, Veil, Gabii, Ardea, and Rome,
were all organized on the same system, as far as division of
property was concerned. Their walls or palisades or earth-
works enclosed an area ten times as large as that required
by the number of inhabitants, because they shared it with
their flocks, and each hut, made of a framework of boughs
and covered by a thatched roof, had its own orchard and
sheepfold. This condition of things has been admirably
illustrated by the discoveries made at Veii and Antemnse,
under my personal supervision, where traces of huts (hard-
trodden, coal-stained floor within a ring of rough stones)
have been found at a considerable distance from each other.
The city of the Palatine was not different from Veii and
Antemnae ; in fact, the characteristics of the " agellus " and
the sheepfold must have been even more prominent in
Rome, because its population was essentially pastoral. The
village had two gates, the names of which have come down
to us : one, leading to the Rumon (river), was called " Ru-
manula ; " the other, leading to the pasture lands of the
Oppian, was called " Mugonia," from the lowing of cattle.
The agellus attached to the huts contained also the
family tombs. The neighborhood of the River-gate was
called "ad Statuam Cincise " because there was the "sepul-
crum f amilise " and the "casa" of the Cincii. 1 In this
state of things it was necessary to define and protect the
limits of each piece of ground which had become heredi-
tary, because it had been cultivated and settled upon by one
single family for a certain lapse of time. The trees growing-
nearest to the boundary line became, therefore, " arbores
finales et terminates," sacred to Terminus or to Silvanus ;
and when there were no trees available for the purpose,
1 The family tomb and the family hut.
THE S ACHED GROVE OF THE AH VALES. 97
The cliffs of Veii at the Ponte Sodo.
they would make use of stones, or of wooden posts called
" stipites oleagini " or " pali sacrificales." The setting up
of these boundary marks was consecrated by a sacrifice ;
a trench was dug, a victim was slain, its blood was cast into
the trench, together with corn, fruit, incense, honey, and
wine ; the whole being consumed by blazing pine-brands.
On this bed of ashes the stone or post was set up. The
" Terminalia " or annual feast of the Terminal gods fell on
February 23 ; and was celebrated among neighbors, as well
as by the city in general. The public festival was performed
at the sixth milestone of the Via Laurentina, probably be-
cause this was originally the extent of the Roman territory
in that direction.
To explain the evolution of these shapeless stones and
posts into the beautiful " hermse " of later times, we must
refer to the Greek custom on this subject. There were to
98 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES.
be seen in many parts of Greece heaps of stones at the
crossings of roads, or on the boundaries of land, called
e/3/ieta, ep//,cua, epfjialoi Xd<oi, because Hermes was the
presiding god over the common intercourse of life, traffic,
journeys, roads, boundaries, and so forth. The heaps of
stones were succeeded in progress of time by a single block,
the sacred character of which was acknowledged by pouring
oil upon it and adorning it with garlands of wild flowers.
The first attempt at an artistic development of the rude
block was the addition of a head, in the features of which
the characteristics of the god were supposed to be expressed.
This is the origin of the " hermse "or " hermuli " statues
composed of a head placed on a quadrangular pillar, the
height of which corresponds to the stature of the human
body. They became very popular objects among the
Greeks, who lavished them in front of their houses, temples,
gymnasia, palestrae, libraries, porticoes, at the corners of
streets, at the crossings of highroads as signposts with dis-
tances inscribed upon them, etc. So great was the demand
for these hermse that the word ep/xoyX^o? became the syn-
onym for a sculptor. They retained their original name
even in case the head or bust represented no deity at all,
but the portrait of an illustrious man. This last class was
in great demand among the wealthy Romans for the deco-
ration of their gardens and villas, in which places, strange
to say, they were brought back to their original scope, being
used as posts for wooden railings, on the border line between
the paths or avenues and the lawns or shubberies or pine
groves. In this case they were commonly crowned with the
portrait busts of philosophers, historians, poets, tragedians,
each being inscribed with the name of its subject. It is
easy to understand what benefits the science of iconogra-
phy has derived from these labelled portrait heads ; in fact,
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 99
one of the first archaeological handbooks produced in the
sixteenth century is the " Imagines Virorum Illustrium "
of Fulvio Orsino, published in 1570 by Antonio Lafreri
with more than a hundred exquisite illustrations.
The wealthy and learned Romans of the last century of
the Republic or of the Golden Age of Augustus, who covered
the hillsides of Tusculum, Tibur, and Praeneste and lined
the shores of Antium, of Formic, and Baja3 with their mag-
nificent country seats, paid this tribute of honor to every
one who had obtained fame in the literary and scientific
world, none excepted. We remember, for instance, the ex-
citement caused in 1896 by the discovery of the fragments
of the poems of Bacchylides, which were so beautifully re-
produced in facsimile by F. G. Kenyon. There is no use in
denying that the name of the great lyrist, born at Julis, in
the island of Ceos, towards the middle of the fifth century
100 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES.
B. c., considered by the ancients as a worthy rival of Pindar,
was almost ignored or forgotten at the time of the discovery.
Not so in ancient times. The Romans offered to Bacchylides
the same honors they were wont to pay to Pindar.
The evidence of this fact, not generally known to students,
is to be found in the discoveries made in 1775 at the " Pia-
nella di Cassio " among the ruins of the Villa of Brutus,
one mile east of Tivoli, or the road called di Carciano or
Cassiano. To the substructures of this delightful villa,
built partly in opus incertum, partly in the so-called Pelasgic
or polygonal masonry, age has given a golden-brownish
hue, such as is seen in the late fall in our forests, when the
setting sun strikes the half dried leaves of the oak or the
chestnut. The gardens are now represented by groves of
olives, two or three centuries old, the quiet green of which
harmonizes well with the color of the ruins. (See page 99.)
As the sixteenth century can boast of the finds made by
Paul III. in the Baths of Caracalla, the seventeenth of those
made by Innocent X. and Clement X. in the palace of the
Valerii on the Ca3lian, so the following one will be remem-
bered forever for the discoveries obtained in this Villa of
Brutus. Visconti describes the search as " uno de piu
insigni scavi de nostri tempi." Seventeen statues were
brought to light from the ruins of a hall of basilical type,
and twenty hernia? from the site of the gardens. There
were the portrait busts of Antisthenes, Bias, Periander,
^Eschines, inscribed with their names, and the headless her-
ma3 of Anacreon, of Chabrias, of Pittacus with the motto
" Know the time, " of Solon with the motto " Not too
much," and of Cleobulus with the motto " Keep an even
mind." There were seven plinths or pedestals of hermse
bearing the names of Pisistratus, Lycurgus, Archytas,
Hermarchos, Diogenes ; and lastly of Bacchylides and
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 101
Pindar. All these marbles are now exhibited in the Sala
delle Muse in the Vatican Museum.
In respect of discoveries and excavations the reign of
Pope Braschi will remain quite unrivalled. Instead of fet-
tering or forbidding private enterprise and of grudging to
private collectors every fragment, however indifferent, of
antique marbles or terracottas, Pius VI. invited landowners
and excavators to collaborate with him in the recovery of
works of art and of epigraphic documents. I am just now
perusing the registers of the Vatican Museum of the last
quarter of the eighteenth century, and I simply wonder
The motto " Know Thyself " in a mosaic floor in a tomb of the Appian Way.
at the exquisite taste and discernment of the pontiff who
would allow no one but himself to decide on the subject of
acquisitions for the Museo Pio Clementine, or of exportation
of antiques to foreign countries. And whenever exporta-
102 THE SACRED GROl'K OF THE ARVALES.
tion was denied, or an embargo put on a statue or on an
inscription, he declared himself ready to purchase the object
at a just price. No wonder that his call should have been
answered by many, and that the greatest activity should
have prevailed in the field of discoveries.
Were we to accept in a strict sense Roman religious tradi-
tions, the brotherhood of the Arvales and the worship of
the Dea Dia ought to be considered even older than the
worship of Vesta and the sisterhood of the Vestals. These
referred their institution to the time of Numa, the Arvales
to the time of the founder of the City. The Arvales formed
a college of twelve priests whose duty it was to offer sacri-
fices for the prosperity of the fields (arva) and to implore
the blessings of heaven on the produce of the soil. The
legend says that when Acca Larentia lost one of her twelve
sons, Romulus allowed himself to be adopted in his place,
and called himself and the other eleven " fratres Arvales ; "
but, as I have remarked in chapter i. of " Ancient Rome,"
legends are not necessary to prove the extreme antiquity of
the brotherhood. In the commentaries, or minutes of its
periodical meetings, of which I shall speak presently, it is
said that, whenever iron tools were brought into the sacred
grove of the Dea Dia, as for engraving the annual records
on the base of the temple, or for the lopping and felling of
the trees, expiatory sacrifices were performed " ob ferri in-
lationem," or " elationem," that is, to purify the temple and
the grove from the unlawful contact with the metal. This
practice shows that the worship was instituted in the age of
bronze, before the introduction of iron. The abhorrence
of the use of iron, however, is not the only recollection of
prehistoric ages to be found in the Arvalian ritual. It was
known that at the time of the foundation of the City, the
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 103
inhabitants used pottery and domestic earthenware made
by hand and baked in an open fire, exactly like the one
which is found in the necropolis of Alba Longa buried
under three strata of volcanic sand, lapilli, and other erup-
tive materials. In memory of this primitive state of things
the use of earthenware was obligatory, or at any rate pre-
ferred in sacrifices and libations. Even the sacred fire of
Vesta was kept burning in an earthen receptacle. Juvenal
describes the " Simpuvium Nmme," the drinking cup of
Numa Pompilius, a relic preserved down to the fall of the
Empire, with exactly the same Avords we should use in de-
scribing the fossil pottery of Alba Longa. Now in the Acta
Arvalium the following record is engraved more than once :
" ollas precati sunt " (they have addressed their prayers to
earthen jars). In reading this statement we could not help
thinking of the worship of Numa's drinking cup ; still, no
evidence of the fact could be produced. In 1870, I do not
remember exactly whether at the foot of the temple of the
Dea Dia or on the highest part of the sacred grove, eighteen
prehistoric cups were found, which, although in a more or
less fragmentary state, could be recognized as absolutely
identical with the fossil pottery of Alba Longa.
The sacred grove and place of meeting of the Arvales
was at the fifth milestone of the Via Campana, now called
Strada della Magliana, on the slope of a hill now occupied
by the Vigna Ceccarelli, at a place quaintly called " Aifoga
1' Asino." The writer of the otherwise excellent article in
Smith's Dictionary, vol. i. p. 199 b , speaking of the Arvales
meeting " in luco dea3 Dia3 via Campana apud lapidem V.,"
says, " There is no road known as the Via Campana, and the
one on which the spot is actually situated leads to the mouth
of the Tiber, and not into Campania. The phrase . . .
probably means country road (Feldstrasse) and may con-
104 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES.
The Vigna Ceccarelli, the former seat of the Arvales.
tain a trace of the process by which the district round Rome
has come to be known as the Campagna." This state-
ment is incorrect. The via was called Campana, from the
remotest antiquity, because it led to the Campus Salinarum
Romanarum, even now retaining its twenty-six centuries
old name of Camposalino. I have been able to discover
this point in a rather unexpected way.
Before the marshes of Maccarese and Camposalino the
ancient salt work of the Vejentes were drained in 1889,
a boatman used to ferry sportsmen from the local railway
station to the shooting-grounds, on the opposite shore of
the swamp, and fasten his canoe to a rope attached to a heavy
piece of marble, in the place of an anchor. In the winter
of 1887 the antiquarian Alberici, while duck-shooting in that
boat, noticed that there were letters engraved on the face of
the marble. On closer examination it proved to be a val-
uable document, viz., the plinth of a statuette representing
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 105
the Genius of the guild of salt-carriers (Genius saccariorum
salariorwn) who carried the salt in sacks from the Campus
Salinarum to Porto and to Rome, following the road ac-
cordingly named Via Campana. This valuable document
is now exhibited in Hall I. of the Museo Municipale al Celio.
The Temple of the Dea Dia restored.
The first discovery of the seat of the Arvales at the fifth
milestone of this road, in a field then belonging to Fabrizio
Galletti, seems to have taken place under the pontificate of
Gregory XIII., about 1575. Flaminio Vacca has left the
following account of the find : " Outside the Porta Portese,
at a place called ' affoga 1' Asino,' in a cane-field near the
Tiber, many statues of eminent personages were dug out,
together with the pedestals on which their names were in-
scribed, and with columns 30 palms long. These were sawn
into slabs and made use of in the Cappella Gregoriana at
106 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
St. Peter's ; the statues were dispersed among many collectors
in Rome." Traces of earlier excavations have, however, been
detected in a fly-leaf from the pocket-book of Salvestro
Peruzzi (t 1573), son of Baldassarre (t 1536), which is now
preserved in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Salvestro
gives the sketch of a graceful little edifice with an apse
and a pronaos, and says that it contained nine statues of
emperors wearing the badge of the Order, viz., the " corona
spicea," and nine pedestals with dedicatory inscriptions
ending with the words FRATRI ARVALI. Salvestro's account
is not accurate, unless two pedestals were destroyed or burnt
The head of Augustus as Frater Arvalis.
into lime at once ; contemporary epigraphists mention only
seven dedications inscribed with the names of Hadrian,
Antoninus Pius, M. Aurelius, L. Verus, Septimius Severus,
Caracalla, and Gordianus. 1 The fact that all the predeces-
i Corpus Inscr. vol. vi. n. 968, 1000, 1012, 1021, 1026, 1053, 1093.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES 107
The west wing of Michelangelo's cloisters.
sors of Hadrian are missing, while the set from Hadrian to
Gordian III. is. almost complete, shows that the sacred
grove, or at least the Caesareum, must have undergone at
the beginning of the second century the same fate by which
the House of the Vestals was destroyed at the time of Sep-
timius Severus. The records of the Vestales Maximse dis-
covered in that house begin with the reconstruction by Julia
Domna, and continue almost without a break to the sup-
pression of the Order in 382. The only iconographic relic
of earlier days pertaining to the Augtisteum of the Arvales
is the marble head of Augustus himself, formerly in the
Villa Mattei and now in the Sala dei Busti of the Vatican
Museum (n. 274), which represents the emperor at a ripe
age, with a garland of ears of wheat, the symbol of the
fraternity to which he belonged. I shall not follow in
detail the history of subsequent discoveries from the time
108 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
of Salvestro Peruzzi to the present day, because it has
already been given by de Rossi and Henzen. 1 These dis-
coveries were splendidly brought to a close in 1868-1871
by Dr. Wilhelm Henzen, then director of the German
Archaeological Institute, when nearly one thousand lines of
the Acta, with other inscriptions and architectural remains
of the temple and other edifices, were brought to light, in
the " Vigna Ceccarelli di Sopra," near the railway station
of La Magliana. The Acta, purchased by the Italian gov-
ernment in 1873, have been admirably rearranged in chro-
nological order by Dr. Dante Vaglieri in two of the old
Cistercian " Hermitages " on the west wing of Michel-
angelo's cloisters in the Baths of Diocletian. (See p. 107.)
From these records we learn the following details. The
oldest fragment yet found dates from A. D. 14, the last of
Augustus, the first of Tiberius. The calendar of the bro-
therhood dates also from the same epoch. We infer from
these facts that the system of engraving the minutes of
the proceedings on marble must have been taken up soon
after the reform of the Order accomplished by Augustus
after his election to the pontificate in B. c. 2.
The Ar vales, the only Roman religious institution in
which the name of " brothers " occurs, were twelve, double
the number of the Vestals ; but absence from town, illness,
and other circumstances so thinned their ranks that the
average number of members attending one meeting is five.
The fullest meeting recorded in the space of two hundred
years is that of October 12, 59, when twelve members met
to offer a sacrifice for the " imperium " of Nero.
The seats were not hereditary, even in the case of impe-
rial personages. The place of a private nobleman, L.
1 De Rossi, " Vicende degli atti Arvalici," in Annali Institute, 1858 ; Henzen,
Acta Fratrum Arvalium, Berlin, Reimer, 1874.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 109
lius Paullus, was given in December, A. D. 13, or January,
14, to Drusus Caesar, son of Tiberius ; and that of his
grandson, Drusus the younger, again to a private individual,
P. Memmius Regulus, A. D. 38.
The president (magister) of the fraternity was elected
on the second day of the feast of the Dea Dia, at the begin-
ning of May, and his tenure of office lasted for a year. It
was his duty to entertain his colleagues at dinner in his own
house, during the same May celebrations ; but if the house
AD-OMN I A:PVLV1N ARIA.
Two specimens of the Acta Arvalium of the first and third centuries.
was too small or otherwise unfit for the reception of the
noble guests and their attendants, the tables were set up
elsewhere, for instance, in the Augusteum (A. D. 218).
At all events, when we hear of the brothers banqueting at
such and such a house, we need not be afraid that the host
had to meet the expense of the proceedings ; he simply
supervised the arrangements. These banquets were costly
enough ; one hundred denarii a seat. 1 The minutes of the
year were engraved on the marble stylobate of the temple,
1 About seventy shillings, or seventeen dollars.
110 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
proceeding from left to right at the end of each " magis-
terium " or presidency, viz., after the 17th of December.
The following incident shows that they did not tarry long
in transferring the minutes from their books to the marble
panels of the stylobate. The Emperor Vitellius ended his
presidency on December 17 of the year 69, and was mur-
dered before the end of the month. Now as his name is
erased from the minutes in consequence of the " memoria?
damnatio " pronounced by the Senate soon after his death,
it is evident that they must have been inscribed between
the 17th and the 31st.
Comparing the chronology of the Acta with the precise
spot in which they have been found, Professor Henzen has
been able to follow the progress of their incision on the
various marble surfaces available in the grove. As I have
said above, advantage was taken at the beginning of the
base of the temple, with little or no concern for space,
devoting probably each marble panel to the records of one
year ; no matter whether they covered the whole space or
left a blank. The writing surface on the base of the tem-
ple lasted until the time of Antoninus Pius. Later on, the
blanks were filled up with no respect to chronology, so that
the records of the year 213 were engraved at the foot of
the panel of A. D. 155, those of the year 219 at the foot
of the panel of A. D. 90, etc. Fortunately the grove con-
tained other marble edifices, like the Csesareum, where the
images of deified emperors were kept and worshipped ; the
Tetrastylum, where meetings were held and banquets cele-
brated ; and a Circus, where races were run on the second
day of the May festival. These edifices, the Ca3sareum and
the Tetrastylum at least, were resorted to for the engraving
of the Acta; those of A. D. 218 were actually written on a
table or " mensa," and those of 220 on a marble chair or
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. Ill
The dispersion of these valuable documents all over the
City and the Campagna is really astonishing. Fragments,
nay, whole panels, have been found at S. Prisca and at S.
Sabina on the Aventine, in the Villa Negroni-Massimo on
the Esquiline, in the foundations of the apse and sacristy
of St. Peter's, in the pavement of St. Paul's, in the Villa
The church of S. Marina at Ardea.
Wolkonsky, in the catacombs of Hippolytus and Callixtus,
in the bed of the Tiber. This scattering of the Arvalian
marbles is manifestly connected with the great religious
evolution of the fourth century ; in fact, we know that
when the doctrines of Christ began to gain ground in the
outskirts of the metropolis, and in the farm lands of the
Campagna, the grove of the Arvales, as the oldest suburban
centre of superstition, became one of the main points of
attack. The evangelization of the country, however, had to
overcome far greater obstacles than that of the City. The
Latin peasants were and are still an ignorant race,
tenacious of old habits and traditions. They clung to the
religion of their fathers because it pleased them to know
112 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
and to feel that their interests were intrusted to the never
failing care of local spirits, their own personal friends as it
were, and because they saw in the commonest phenomena
of nature the manifestation of a superior power. Springs,
rivers, caves, trees, forests, hills, and mountains all appeared
to those simple minds fraught with life, and visible embodi-
ments of divine agents. They divided these salutary and
beneficent beings into two classes : one comprising the higher
gods of nature, Apollo, Diana, Silvanus, Pan, etc. ; the other
restricted to local spirits, nymphs, fauns, and the "genii
loci." The belief in this last category dates from an ear-
lier stage than the conception of deities with wide pro-
vinces and multiple functions. The primitive settlers in
the woodlands of Latium divinized every hill, or tree, or
brook, more distinct personality being attributed to the
nymphs, because the abundance or scarcity of water w r as
more important than anything else in nature, to the herds-
men and to the laborers of the soil. The various groups
of nymphs had their special haunts and abodes in watery
glades, in groves, among the frowning crags, or in the
dark recesses of grottoes, where sacrifices were offered to
them of goats, lambs, milk, and oil, but never of wine.
Some of these " nymphaBa " were private, and reserved to
the peasants of one single farm ; others public, the gather-
ing-place of a wide neighborhood. These were selected on
certain days of the year for the celebration of joyful pro-
cessions and of rural sports, and for thanksgiving after the
successful close of harvesting, sheep-shearing, of the vintage,
and so on. For this purpose special calendars or almanacs
were made up for the use of the peasantry and set up at
the crossings of country roads. Such is the so-called
" Menologium Rusticum," formerly in the possession of
Mgr. Colocci, and now in the National Museum at Naples.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 113
This rustic almanac contains as many columns as there
are months in the year, each marked hy the corresponding
signs of the Zodiac. Then follow the names of the months,
the number of their days, the determination of the nones,
The campanile of Castel S. Pietro above Palestrina struck by
lightning 1 .
(and indirectly of the ides, which fell eight days after), the
length of days and nights, the name of the sign through
which the sun passes, and the god under whose care the
month was placed. For instance :
" The month of May. Thirty-one days. The nones fall
on the 7th. Length of day fourteen and a half hours, of
114 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES.
night nine and a half. The sun enters into the constella-
tion of Taurus. The month is under the protection of
The various agricultural operations of the month of May
are subsequently specified, such as the winnowing of the
cornfields, the shearing of sheep, the washing of wool,
the breaking of oxen, etc. The column ends with the reli-
gious duties to be performed in May, viz., the lustration of
the crops, and certain sacrifices to Mercury and Flora.
It is easy to conceive what obstacles the preachers of the
gospel must have found in these deeply rooted superstitions
in consequence of which the Campagna remained essentially
pagan long after the gods had been expelled from their
temples in the City. The study of local traditions, of folk-
lore, of the origin of many suburban sanctuaries and
shrines, would help us greatly to make out how the religious
transformation of the Campagna was gently brought about.
To facilitate it great care was taken to assimilate practices
which were not absolutely objectionable, for instance, the
Ambarvalia, which were transformed into the Rogations,
and to substitute parallel figures with an affinity of names to
the gods of rivers, of springs, of mountains, and of forests.
Thus the places of Apollo and Silvanus were taken by St.
Silvester, on the forest-clad peaks of Soracte, of the Monte
Compatri, of the Monte Artemisio, and of the Vulturella ;
S. Marina or S. Marinella became the protector of mariners
at Ardea (see p. Ill), at Ostia, and at Punicum ; St. George
became the driver away of plague-spreading dragons ; while
the points struck by lightning, whether of church towers or
of mountains, were consecrated to Michael the Archangel.
The picturesque shrines which the explorer of the Cam-
pagna and of the Sabine and Volscian districts meets at the
crossings of roads and lanes have not changed their site
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 115
A wayside shrine.
or purpose ; only the crescent which once shone on the
forehead of Diana the huntress is now trodden by the feet
of the Virgin Mary, who also appears crushing the head
of the snake once sacred to Juno Lanuvina ; but the wild
flowers still perfume with their delicious scent the " icon-
etta," as the shrine is still called in the Byzantine fashion
among our peasantry (small ei/co^), and the sweet oil, in-
stead of being poured over the altar, burns before the image
of the Mother of God in quaint little lamps. The month of
May, once sacred to the Dea Dia, has become the month of
We are not acquainted with the particulars of the " Chris-
116 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
tianization " of the sacred grove of the Arvales, the re-
cords of the brotherhood ending with the reign of Gordiaii
III. (about 238 A. D.). The portrait statue of the same
emperor is the last, chronologically speaking, discovered
among the ruins of the Caesareum. We may assume,
therefore, that the institution, ten centuries old at the time
of Gordian III., died* of sheer decrepitude towards the
middle of the third century, when the Christians appear on
the spot, or rather under it, honeycombing the hill with
the winding galleries of their cemetery of Generosa.
I have already spoken of these small but interesting cat-
acombs in chapter vii. of " Pagan and Christian Rome "
(p. 332). The name of Generosa pertaining to them indi-
cates that the ground under which they ramify, or where
their entrance was, belonged to a lady of that name.
Without assuming that this lady Generosa had purchased
part of the old Arvalian property, it may be simply a case
of an enclave within the boundaries of the grove. And,
moreover, the first Christians, the first illustrious victims of
the persecution of Diocletian, were not laid to rest in crypts
purposely cut out of the rock, but in common sand-pits, to
which entrance was gained from the side of Generosa's farm.
One of the curiosities of this underground cemetery is
a painting of Christ in the character of the Good Shepherd,
on the edge of whose tunic we see twice the sign Ft, called
" crux gammata " because it is formed by the grouping of
four f (gamma). The sign never appears in the catacombs
so long as that of the anchor remains in favor. Its first
representation is to be found, if I remember right, in the
celebrated painting of Diogenes the fossor of the crypts of
Domitilla, whose tunic is embroidered with the mystic de-
vice, instead of the usual " calliculse " and " clavi." Now
as the fl! is the primitive Asiatic symbol of happiness, the
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 117
" svastika " of the Brahmins and Buddhists, certain writ-
ers have attempted to find in it a link between Buddha
and Christ, between the Indian religion and the gospel.
Enough to observe that the svastika, as a mere ornamental
combination of lines, appears in prehistoric pottery of the
aeneolithic period, in the coins of Gaza, Corinth, and Syra-
cuse, in the fibula of Caere, in the so-called Samnitic tomb
at Capua, in Roman mosaic pavements^ etc.
Among the many symbols of the cross adopted by the
The Good Shepherd with the svastika,
faithful in the age of persecutions, with which they could
mark the grave of the dear ones without betraying the
secret of their faith, there was the Phoanician letter tau.
118 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES.
From the tau, +, to the crux gammata, Ft, the transition is
There is no doubt that while these things were going
on underground in the cemetery of Generosa, the grove of
the Arvales, the temple, the Caesareum, the Tetrastylum,
were kept in good repair by the state, although practically
abandoned by the brotherhood. Possibly the action of
the state was limited to preventing the neighbors from
trespassing over the boundary line of the grove and dam-
aging its buildings and stealing away their marble decora-
tions. Certainly not the smallest fragment of the Acta
has been found used by the Christians in the adjoining
catacombs. But granted that men did not lend a helping
hand to the slow destructive powers of nature, we can easily
imagine what the state of the place was after a century and
a half of neglect, when it was given up altogether to Pope
Damasus as Church property. If a fig-tree could have
found time to set root and grow on the pediment of the
temple A. D. 183, as described in the minutes of that year,
at the time of the greatest prosperity of the Order, we may
imagine what masses of arborescent vegetation must have
covered the roof at the end of the fourth century. The
grove, also, must have shown traces of neglect, exposed as
it was to the fury of storms, so violent in this district be-
tween Rome and the sea that the minutes mention over
and over again trees struck by lightning and felled to the
ground. I am afraid that it also gave shelter to outlaws,
as shown by the wholesale slaughter of Julius Timotheus,
schoolmaster, and seven of his pupils, made by a gang of
highwaymen on the very edge of the grove, as described
in " Ancient Rome," p. 212.
It seems as if Pope Damasus had watched with impa-
tience the moment he could take legal possession of the
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 119
place, and build aboveground and on the highest and most
conspicuous point a memorial chapel, sanctis martyribus
simplicio fausnso VIATRIC/, whose graves had made the
catacombs of Generosa a favorite place of pilgrimage.
The oldest dated epitaph found within this chapel of Da-
masus belongs to A. D. 382, the very year in which the wor-
ship of the gods was officially abolished by Gratian, and the
property of temples confiscated or transferred to the Church.
The grove of the Arvales was not the only one which
brought back to the Romans of the late Empire the memory
of the primitive state of their soil and of the veneration
which their ancestors professed towards the sylvan gods.
Rome had been founded in a well-wooded country, each of
the seven hills being distinguished by a special growth of
trees from which they were sometimes named. A forest
of laurels grew on the Aventine the recollection of which
lasted to the end of the Empire in the streets named " Lau-
retum maius " and " Lauretum minus " respectively. The
valley between the Aventine, and the Palatine is said to
have derived the name of Murtia from the myrtle grove
which surrounded the shrine of Venus Murtea. 1 The Cae-
lian, likewise, was called Querquetulanus from its forest of
oaks (quercioli) ; the Oppian, Fagutalis from its forest of
beeches ; the Viminal from its reeds (vimina) ; the Campus
Codetanus from its Equisetum arvense (codeta) ; the Corneta
from its cornelian trees, etc. With the growth of the City
many of these landmarks disappeared, their memory being
perpetuated by a cluster of trees which were held in great
veneration, and to which sacrifices were offered. There is a
large map of these sacred groves, published by Agretti and
Visconti in 1838, 2 and a good account of them is to be
1 Compare, however, Becker, Topographic, p. 467, n. 971.
2 Pianta delV antica citta di Roma con i suoi boschi sacri, Roma, 1838.
120 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
found in Brocchi's " Stato fisico del Suolo di Roma/' p. 24
sq. Agretti and Visconti have marked the site of forty-
four groves, but the existence of some of them is not suffi-
ciently authenticated. At the end of the Empire probably
there were only twenty or twenty-five left.
Such being the sylvan nature of the Roman soil, no
wonder that one of the first gods to be worshipped by the
semi-savage inhabitants of the Septimontium should be
Faun, whose prophetic warnings and mysterious voice they
imagined were heard from the recesses of the forests. The
Bona Dea, the supposed bride of Faun, had also a share in
the divine honors, and was herself called Fauna. Silvanus,
however, was the special protector of woods and trees, espe-
cially of pines and cypresses ; hence his name of Silvanus
dendrophorus, the " bearer of a tree." Woods sacred to
the deity were called " luci " in opposition to " silvse " or
" nemora," which names designate an ordinary forest.
It is remarkable, indeed, that one of these luci should
have survived through the events of centuries, and should still
be flourishing, still venerated, still called by its classic name
of " Bosco Sacro." I allude to the cluster of fine ilexes on
the west side of the valley della Caffarella, near the so-called
grotto of the " ninfa Egeria " and the church of S. Urbano.
Inscriptions discovered in that neighborhood 1 show that
these lands once belonged to Annia Regilla, wife of Herodes
Atticus ; that after her death in childbirth the lands were
consecrated to the gods ; that they contained wheat-fields,
vineyards, olive groves, pastures, a village named Triopium,
a temple dedicated to Faustina under the title of New Ceres,
a burial plot placed under the protection of Minerva and
Nemesis, and lastly a grove sacred to the memory of Annia
1 Ennio Quirino Visconti, Iscrizioni greche Triopee, ora Borghesiane, Rome,
1794. See Bibliography in Pagan and Christian Rome, p. 288.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALE8. 121
The sacred grove of Annia Regilla.
Regilla. The remains of the Triopium are to be seen
in the Vigna Grandi ; the family tomb is represented by
the exquisite little building known as the " tempio del Dio
Redicolo," the temple of Ceres and Faustina by the church
of S. Urbano. As regards the sacred grove, there is no
doubt that the present trees continue the tradition and live
on the very spot sacred to the memory of Annia Regilla,
" cuius ha3c praBdia fuerunt."
Modern Romans, alas, have not inherited from their
ancestors the feeling of respect for the sylvan gods. I do
not belong to the party which has taken up the habit of
condemning whatever has been done in Rome since 1870 ;
far from it. I believe, and I am proud to assert, that the
little we have lost is nothing in comparison with what we
have gained in health, in cleanliness, in comfort, in pur-
poses of life, in self-respect. The only point of regret is the
one concerning the green, the shade and the vegetation,
against which rulers and ruled, magistrates and citizens,
clergy and laity seemed at one time to have developed an
122 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
equal share of contempt, if not of hatred. When the beau-
tiful Villa Corsini was purchased by the City in 1876 to be
turned into a public park, the splendid old ilexes lining the
crest of the hill were cut down under the plea that they ob-
structed the view. When a considerable part of the Monti
Parioli was likewise purchased in 1887 for the laying out
of the great Parco Margherita between the Via Flaminia
and the Salaria, the oaks and the ilexes of the Villa Bosio
were sold to a charcoal-burner. When a government dele-
gate took possession of the administration of the City in
1892, he inaugurated the restoration of the finance depart-
ment by cutting down the small garden of the Piazza
Mastai, the keeping of which involved an expense of nearly
three pounds a year ! Another picturesque corner of the
Parco Margherita, the " Sassi di S. Giuliano," weather-
stained crags plunging into the Tiber a little above the
Ponte Molle, has just been stripped of its crown of ever-
greens to allow a private contractor to quarry stone ; and
the ragged outline of the rocks has been cut and smoothed
to an angle of 45, like a railway embankment. With such
examples coming from official quarters, no wonder that
owners of private villas should have sold them to the first
comer who offered money enough to satisfy their greed. It
is true that the sale and the destruction of the historic
Roman villas has brought luck to none ; sellers as well as
purchasers are equally bankrupt ; but this well-earned retri-
bution does not give us back what we have lost. Let me
say, however, that a decided change for the better has taken
place of late in this branch of public administration. Over
ten thousand trees are planted every year in Rome and the
suburbs, and if the " Arbor day " shall be celebrated for
some years to come with equal zeal, the City will be framed
again in green as in the palmy days of its history.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES. 123
I must at the same time remark that the feeling of re-
spect for single trees, like the cornelian of the steps of
Cacus, the fig-tree of the Comitium, the chamserops of the
A picturesque corner in the new Passeggiata del Gianicolo.
Capitol, the Diospyros Lotus of the Vulcanal, the olive-tree
and the vine of the Forum, has survived through the middle
ages, and is still alive in Rome. In the middle ages whole
quarters of the City were named from single trees conspicu-
ous in the wilderness of the ruins. Such is the origin of
the name of the ninth ward, the " Rione della Pigna " (pine-
tree), and also of the streets and squares called del Fico,
della Gensola, dell' Olmo, dell' Arancio, del Lauro, etc. A
lemon-tree is shown in the garden of S. Sabina planted by
St. Dominic himself when he took possession of the adjoin-
ing convent at the time of Pope Honorius III. (1216-1227).
In the garden of S. Onofrio, which now forms part of the
124 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
Passeggiata del Gianicolo, stands Tasso's venerable oak,
under the shade of which the poet used to retire for medi-
tation and study. It was partly blown down by the hurri-
cane of October, 1842, but several branches have since
sprouted out of the trunk. I have in my collection of
prints a spirited etching by Strutt, representing the oak
before its fall. The same fate befell in 1886 Michelangelo's
cypresses in the garden of la Certosa, two out of four being
destroyed, and the others mutilated. (See page 107.)
Perhaps the most touching instance of care and respect
towards old trees is to be found in the Alban hills, in the
avenue which leads from Albano to Castel Gandolfo, known
by the name of " Galleria di Sotto." Wherever one of the
old giants ilexes, oaks, or elms planted by Sixtus V. at
the end of the sixteenth century shows signs of decrepi-
tude and begins to lean and bend as if asking for help and
support, its branches and its trunk are propped by means of
columns of masonry. The person who shows such delicate
feelings towards the noble trees of Castel Gandolfo is Pope
Leo XIII., himself a splendid specimen of vitality at an
age which it is seldom given to mankind to reach.
I have spoken up to the present time of sylvan gods and
goddesses who were beneficial to mankind. Let us now
turn our attention to the evil geniuses, whose pernicious
influence those simple dwellers on the Palatine hill sought
to avert, and whose wrath they strove to appease, by special
The evil genius was symbolized amongst the Eastern na-
tions, especially amongst the Chaldeans, by the serpent;
and the Bible represents the first and bitterest enemy of
mankind under the same form. Bossuet, in his " Elevations
a Dieu," speaking of the fall of man, remarks : " Pourquoi
il [Dieu] determina cet ange superbe a paraitre sous cette
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 125
forme, plutot que sous une autre ; quoiqu'il ne soit pas neces-
saire de le savoir, 1'Ecriture nous 1'insinue, en disant que le
serpent etait le plus fin des animaux ; c'est a dire celui qui
. . representait mieux le demon dans sa malice, dans ses
embuches, et ensuite dans son supplice." Step by step the
serpent conquered divine honors. In Egypt it was made
to personify the principle of evil conquered by Osiris. In
the paintings or in the hieroglyphic papyri of the earliest
dynasties the symbol of two serpents springing at each other
is often seen, one of which seems to snap at a ball which
the other holds in its mouth : an evident allusion to the
dualism in Eastern religions. At a later period the theo-
gonic condition of the serpent improved, and it became ulti-
mately a symbol of the Sun and of Life. In the belief of
1 " Though it is not necessary for us to know why He decreed that that
proud angel should appear in this shape, rather than in another, the Scriptures
hint at an explanation in saying that the serpent was the most subtle of all ani-
mals . . . and therefore the one that best represented the devil in his malice,
in his treacheries, and finally in his punishment."
126 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
Latin aborigines, long before the foundation of Rome, the
serpent symbolized the "genius loci/' and as the oldest
Latin gods were worshipped through their respective gen-
iuses 1 the serpent became the living symbol of some of them,
The young Hercules strangling 1 the serpent.
of ^Esculapius, the god of medicine ; of Minerva, the god-
dess of wisdom ; of Mercury, the god of subtleness ; and,
above all, of the Juno called Lanuvina from Lanuvium, the
seat of her worship. The sacred serpents of Lanuvium are
still alive, and I am sure it will interest my reader to know
some curious details collected on this point by Professor
Tommasetti, a great explorer of the Roman Campagna. 2
1 The Genius Jovis, the Genius Junonis Sospitse, the Genius Dese Dise, etc.
2 " Nuove ricerche sulla spiaggia latina," in Atti Pontif. Accad. di Archeolo-
gia, 26 Nov., 1896.
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE AR VALES. 127
The serpent of
Juno of Lanuvium
was not an abstract
symbol ; a live spe-
cimen of a particu-
lar species was kept
in a cave, within
the sacred grove
adjoining the tem-
ple of the goddess ;
pilgrims and de-
votees offered it
food and votive
emblems ; and
were cast on the
honesty of a young
girl she was com-
pelled to undergo
the judgment of
the serpent, by
which she was de-
voured if guilty.
The behavior of
the sacred animal
was also taken as an omen for the coming harvest. These
human sacrifices, the evidence of remote antiquity in the
worship of the goddess, lasted at least up to the second
century of the Christian era, when ^Elianus wrote his well-
known account (x. 16). According to Prosper of Aqui-
tania, the institution was still flourishing in the fourth and
fifth centuries, but the live serpent of classic times had been
superseded by a mechanical contrivance of tremendous
The Juno Lanuvina.
128 THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES.
power. This artificial serpent was of great size ; from its
eyes, made of precious stones, darted fiery sparks; it held a
sword in its mouth ; and when the unsuspecting girl de-
scended the steps of the cavern to lay her offering hefore
the dragon, she unconsciously touched a spring which set
the mechanism in motion and made the sword fall on her
neck. The fraud was discovered at last by a Christian
hermit, a friend of Stilicho, who, having obtained admission
somehow into the cave, felt his way at every step with a
cane, until he succeeded in touching the spring, and in
making the sword fall without injury to himself. On hear-
ing of the monk's discovery the Christians of the neighbor-
hood invaded the cave, destroyed the dragon, and probably
levelled the temple of Juno to the ground.
We have the evidence of these extraordinary events not
only in the magnificent statue of the goddess herself, now
in the Rotunda of the Vatican, but in the actual existence
of a special kind of serpents in the territory of Lanuvium.
Cicero, " De Divin." i. 79, describes how the nurse of
Roscius discovered him wound in the coils of a snake in a
field called Solonium, " qui est campus agri Lanuvini."
Atia, the mother of Augustus, born according to the tradi-
tion alluded to by Suetonius (Aug. 6) in the neighborhood
of Velitrae and Lanuvium, bore a serpent's mark on her
skin. The Solonium mentioned by Cicero is actually called
Dragone and Dragoncello, the Field of the Dragon ; and a
church built there in the middle ages was dedicated to St.
George, the driver-away of dragons. Professor Tommasetti
thinks that the peculiar kind of serpents bred within the
precincts of the temple must have been dispersed after the
abandonment of the sanctuary, but that they did not migrate
too far. In the farm of Carrocceto, right under the hill of
Civita Lavinia, there is to be found the largest species of
THE SACRED GROVE OF THE ARVALES. 131
(inoffensive) serpents known to live in the Roman Cam-
pagna, and these serpents are actually called by the peasan-
try " Serpenti della Regina," a manifest allusion to Juno
magna Sospita Regina, as the goddess of Lanuvium was
officially named. But I have myself something to add to
Professor Tommasetti's interesting remarks. I have just
found in some long-forgotten records of the state Archives
that the section of the Aventine hill upon which stands the
church of Santa Sabina was called in the middle ages " Lo
Monte de lo Serpente," a manifest reminder of the great
temple of Juno Regina, on the remains of which shattered
by the earthquake of A. D. 422 the church of S. Sabina
was built by Peter the Illyrian in 425.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL THE BASIL-
ICA PAULLI IN THE FORUM, AND THE BASILICA PAULI
APOSTOLI ON THE ROAD TO OSTIA.
SPEAKING of the fire which swept over the Forum in the
year 210 B. c. under the consulship of Marcellus and Lsevi-
nus, Livy says, xxvi. 27, 3, that the flames leapt directly
from the public square upon the private houses around
" because they were not screened, as they are now, by a
belt of basilicse." In fact, the first edifice of this kind was
erected only in 184 by M. Porcius Cato the elder, under
the name of Basilica Porcia. The institution became at
once so popular that, before the end of the Republic, five
more " regal halls " were built for the accommodation of
the habitues of the Forum : the Sempronia in 169 on the
line of the TabernaB Veteres, the Opimia in 121 by the
temple of Concord, the Fulvia in 179 by the Argiletum,
the ^Emilia in 54, and the Julia in 46 (rebuilt and enlarged
by Augustus in the year 12).
The basilicae are identified generally with our law-courts,
but such was not their exclusive purpose. They were
used not only for the administration of justice but also for
exchanges, or places of meeting for merchants and men of
business. The two uses are so mixed up that it is difficult
to say which was the principal one. We, " laudatores
temporis acti," are in the habit of seeing things rather
idealized whenever we speak or think of bygone times,
and we like to picture the Forum of Republican Rome
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 133
as an august and mighty place, in which the destinies of
the world were discussed and decided upon, where state
trials were conducted, slaves tortured, and the bodies of
state offenders, who had undergone capital punishment, ex-
posed on the Gemonian steps, until the executioner would
hook them to a chain and drag them across the pavement
to one of the openings of the Cloaca Maxima.
The Forum was altogether a much gayer, a more vulgar
and matter-of-fact centre of life ; used for military reviews
and parades as well as for public banquets, gladiatorial
fights, and shows of every kind, including exhibitions of
works of art, paintings, statues, panoramas, and wonders of
nature, such as the serpent fifty cubits long, exhibited at
the time of Augustus. Whenever one of these celebrations
took place, the shops and the porticoes were hung with
shields and tapestries lent to the ^Ediles by private collec-
tors, and stands were erected, with seats for hire, much to
the annoyance of the populace, whose accommodations were
thus considerably reduced. C. Gracchus put an end to this
practice by setting fire, in the darkness of night, to the
As regards the every-day city life, we may take the
Forum as a place of rendezvous and intrigue ; where all
kinds of transactions were practised, from the hiring of
waiters and flute-players for " at homes " to the borrowing
of large sums of money. The shops, originally rented to
butchers and schoolmasters, became in time more attractive
and ornamental. Civil and criminal cases were tried at the
statue of Marsyas, the meeting-place of lawyers, witnesses,
and clerks ; while auctioneers and slave-merchants usually
met by the Argentarise. The Canalicolae, a drunken and
sharp-tongued race, complain ers of everything and every-
body, were to be found along the gutter by which the rain-
134 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
water was drained into the cloaca. Well-to-do citizens
preferred the lower end of the Forum and the Sacra Via,
lined by the beautiful shops of jewellers, perfumers, and
makers of musical instruments. The neighborhood of the
Vortumnus at the entrance to the Vicus Tuscus (Via di
S. Teodoro) bore an ill fame, and so did the lower Subura,
the notorious headquarters of pickpockets and receivers of
stolen goods. Copyists, booksellers, and shoemakers had
established themselves along the Argiletum, fruiterers and
florists on the Summa Sacra Via, and vendors of bronze
vases near the temple of Janus.
The basilicse, likewise, were haunted by a special and
generally disreputable set of men, such as fishmongers, who
poisoned the vestibules and colonnades with the offensive
smell of their merchandise ; the " subbasilicani," concocters
and propagators of false news and spicy gossip ; and, above
all, the bankers and brokers with their usual retinue of
usurers, money-lenders, and shady men of business. The
arcades of the Julia and of the ^Emilia and the middle
section of the street " ad Janum " may truly be called
the Bourse and the Exchange of ancient Kome.
Before the beginning of the present campaign of explora-
tion it was known that the Basilica ^Emilia, the most beauti-
ful of Roman structures of the golden age, lay buried under
the block of houses on the north side of the Forum, between
the churches of S. Adriano and S. Lorenzo in Miranda ; but
what its plan and size were, what its state of preservation,
what the style of its architecture, no one could tell. The
results of the excavations have been rather disappointing
to the general public, who labored under the delusion that
the place had never been excavated before, though not
to us students, who had foreseen the state of despoilment
of the basilica in reading the accounts of the search for
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 137
Site of Basilica ^Emilia before excavation.
marbles made at the time of Paul III. by the architects of
St. Peter's. The history of the place is briefly this : First
constructed in 179 B. c. by the censors M. Fulvius Nobilior
and M. ^Emilius Lepidus, under the name of Basilica Fulvia,
it was repaired a century later by another ^Emilius, consul
B. c. 78. His son, L. Paullus, having received from Julius
Caesar a gift of 1500 talents, rebuilt the hall from the foun-
dations. The work lasted twenty-five years, and the third
dedication of the " ^Emilia Monumenta," as Tacitus calls it,
took place in 34. A fourth restoration is mentioned under
Augustus, a fifth and the last under Tiberius. Classic
writers, while expatiating in general terms on the marvel-
lous beauty of the building, give no particulars, except that
it was " columnis e Phrygiis mirabilis," that is, that it was
admired for its columns of pavonazzetto, the purple-veined
marble quarried near Synnada, in the heart of Phrygia.
We owe this particular to Pliny the elder, xxxvi. 24, 2, who
138 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
published the Natural History in A. D. 77, after the fire of
Nero (A. D. 65) and before the fire of Titus (A. D. 80).
We know, therefore, that the basilica had not been damaged
on the former occasion ; but did it escape uninjured on the
second ? And what was its fate in A. D. 283, when another
great conflagration, which goes by the name of Carinus,
raged from one end to the other of the Sacra Via, destroy-
ing the Basilica Julia, the Senate House, the Grsecostasis,
and the Forum Julium, that is to say, the edifices by which
the ^Emilia was surrounded on every side? Probably it
suffered a certain amount of damage, which must have
been made good soon after, because we find the basilica
mentioned again towards the middle of the fourth cen-
tury. And here our information ends. What became of
it after that time is only a matter of conjecture. Yet it is
not improbable to suppose that its spoils were made use of
in the construction of the Basilica Pauli Apostoli on the
road to Ostia in A. D. 386.
I have already described, in " Pagan and Christian
Rome," p. 150, how the memorial church raised by Con-
stantine over the grave of the Apostle was too small and
inadequate for the accommodation of pilgrims who flocked
to it in vast numbers from all parts of the world where the
doctrines of Christ had been made known. Constantine
had had no intention of placing St. Paul in an inferior
rank to that of St. Peter, or of showing less respect for
his memory ; but, while the position of St. Peter's grave in
relation to the circus of Nero and the cliffs of the Vatican
was such as to give Constantine perfect freedom to extend
the basilica in all directions, especially lengthwise, the case
with that of St. Paul was remarkably different, because the
highroad to Ostia the channel by which Rome was fed
ran only a hundred and fifty feet east of the grave itself.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST PAUL. 141
The Triumphal Arch of Honorius at St. Paul's.
Hence the necessity of limiting the size of the church within
these two points.
In 386 Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius wrote to
Flavius Sallustius, prefect of the City, declaring that if the
S. P. Q. R. would give their consent for the suppression of
a certain old road which ran back of the apse of the Con-
stantinian church, they were ready to rebuild the church
ex novo, changing its front from east to west, and extend-
ing it towards the Tiber, so as to make it vie in size and
beauty with St. Peter's. The consent was willingly given,
and the reconstruction, begun in 388, was completed in
395 by Honorius, as certified by the verse
THEODOSIVS C^PIT PERFECIT HONORIVS AVLAM
which we read on the " triumphal arch " at the top of the
nave, together with the name of Galla Placidia, sister of
142 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
Honorius, and wife of Atawulf, king of the Goths, at whose
expense the arch was covered with the glorious mosaics.
I need hardly say that the new edifice was erected at
the expense and with the spoils of older ones, which had
once formed the pride and glory of imperial Rome. In
fact, we cannot find among the sacred and profane build-
ings of the fourth and fifth century a single one which
could not be compared in this respect to ^Esop's crow. If
the S. P. Q. R. themselves, to perpetuate the memory of
Constan tine's victory over Maxentius, erected an arch by
the Meta Sudans with the marbles of two or three older
ones, and of several patrician mausoleums, the builders of
churches did not hesitate, to be sure, to follow the example
and lay hands on whatever pagan edifice best suited their
purpose. From this point of view our churches can be
divided into two groups : those built with the spoils of only
one classic monument, such as S. Maria Maggiore, S. Pietro
in Yinculis, and S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura, the columns of
which were removed from the Macellum Livise, the Porticus
Tellurensis, and the Opera Octavia3 respectively ; and those
built at the expense of several, like St. Peter's, the Lateran,
S. Agnese, S. Clemente, etc.
The church of St. Paul of the time of Theodosius and
Honorius belongs really to both classes, because although
its pavement was patched with nearly one thousand inscrip-
tions stolen with equal freedom from Christian as well as
from heathen cemeteries, and although the columns divid-
ing the inner from the outer aisles were of unequal size and
quality, yet the twenty-four columns of Phrygian marble,
by which the nave became renowned all over the world,
beautifully matched in color and finish and crowned with
capitals of the same exquisite cut, must have been removed
from one and the same edifice. 1
1 The columns of the nave were forty in all, all fluted and well matched ;
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 143
Archaeologists have inquired as to their place of origin.
Nicolai and Piale contend that they were removed from the
Mausoleum of Hadrian ; Fea and Nibby identify them with
the " columnse Phrygise " which, according to Pliny the
elder, made the Basilica Paulli in the Forum " mirabilis "
and unique. The controversy has by no means died out.
It was taken up again in 1888 by de Rossi and Huelsen
The Basilica Pauli Apostoli, destroyed by fire in 1823.
against myself, and after a debate which took up two whole
sittings of the Archaeological Institute (January 27 and
February 3), it ended, as parliamentary debates do, by each
side retaining its own view. 1
of those nearer to the arch of Placidia, nine on the right and seven on the left
were of white marble, the rest of pavonazzetto, a marble as beautiful as it is
easily tarnished by the combined action of dust and damp. Cardinal Antonio
Finy (f 1743) caused ten columns to be cleaned at his expense. His example
was followed by other cardinals. The last four were polished by order of
Benedict XIV. They measured 10.25 metres in height, 1.19 metres in diame-
ter, with an intercolumniation of 1.81 metres.
1 Compare Mittheil. 1889, p. 242 ; Thddenat, Le Forum, p. 161 ; Bull. arch.
Com. vol. xxvii. 1899, p. 169.
144 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
At the beginning of the present campaign we felt san-
guine that the spade would be more successful in clearing
up the matter than all our reasoning, but unfortunately the
search was given up when hardly two fifths of the basilica
had been laid bare. Of one thing, however, we are sure,
that a considerable section of the building was disman-
tled and levelled to the ground at the end of the fourth
century, that is, at the precise time when the church of
St. Paul was raised on the road to Ostia.
We must remember that shortly after peace and freedom
were given to the church, and the doors of temples be-
gan to be closed, it became the fashion among the victorious
Christians to place pagan buildings under the protection of
saints whose names sounded more or less like those of the
gods just expelled from the structure or of the founders
and former owners of the place. For instance, if a chapel
was erected within the precincts of a palace or of a villa
which had belonged to one of the Caesars, or to the
imperial domain in general, it was dedicated to St. Csesarius.
Thus we find a church Sancti Csesarii in Palatio on the
Palatine; another of the same denomination in the villa
near Velletri, where Augustus passed his youth ; and a third
at the eighteenth milestone of the Via Labicana, where
Maxentius owned a large estate. Temples of Jupiter were
dedicated to St. Jovinus or Juvenalis, temples of Saturn to
St. Saturninus, temples of Apollo to St. Apollinaris, etc.
On the door of the church of S. Martina, built on the
alleged site of the Martis forum (Marforio) the following
play upon words was engraved :
MARTYRII GESTANS VIRGO MARTINA CORONAM
EIECTO HINC MARTIS NUMINE TEMPLA TENET.
No wonder, then, that the materials of the Basilica Paulli
should have been chosen to adorn the grave and the memo-
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 145
rial church of the apostle of the same name. The two
names, in fact, seem to have been purposely put, as it were,
in opposition, or rather in comparison, as shown by the
following incidents. Towards the beginning of the fourth
century it became the fashion to fasten on the neck of run-
away slaves and dogs a brass ring from which hung a label
giving the name and the address of the owner, with the
request that, in case of a renewed attempt to escape, the
fugitive should be arrested and brought back to his mas-
ter. These small keimelia are of great interest on account
of the topographic indications they contain, such as " ad
sedem Flora? ad Tonsores," " in regione quinta in area
Macari," " ad Mappam Auream in Abentino," " de regione
XII ad balineum Scriboniolum Romse," etc. Nineteen
such addresses are registered in vol. xv. p. 897 of the
" Corpus Inscr. Lat." The collars of slaves are distin-
guished from those of dogs by the formula u servvs svm "
(I am the slave of . . . ) with which they begin. Two
labels, one undoubtedly of a dog, the other probably so,
contain the following words *
Corpus n. 7138 : AD BASiLiCA(m) APOSTOLI PAVLI ET DDD NNN FILICISSIMI
n. 7189. TENE ME QVIA FVGI ET REBOCA ME IN BASILICA PAVLLI AD LEONEM ;
which mean respectively : " I am the dog of Felicissimus,
shepherd of the Basilica of the apostle Paul, (rebuilt by) our
three Lords " (Valentinian II., Theodosius, and Arcadius),
and, " Hold me because I ran away and take me back to
Leo (the porter? of) the Basilica Paulli." These two labels
have been quoted by de Rossi as if they prove that the
two basilicas were in existence at the same time, and there-
fore that the columns of the pagan could not have been
made use of in the Christian, but there is no evidence of
synchronism. In fact, the dog of Felicissimus the shepherd
146 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
is by some years the younger of the two, as shown by the
palaeography of their respective labels.
The latest document certifying the existence of the basil-
ica in the Forum is to be found in the pedestals of Gabinius
Vettius Probianus, who was prefect of the City in 377,
nine years before the reconstruction of St. Paul's. This
energetic magistrate took a leading part in the removal of
the statues of gods from temples to civic buildings, such
as forums, baths, and courts of justice, where they were set
up again and exhibited as mere works of art. 1 Seven or
eight such pedestals have already come to light, some on
the Sacra Via in front of Faustina's temple, some from the
Basilica Julia, some from the ^Emilia. Those of the Julia
declare expressly how Probianus " has put up this statue to
ornament the Basilica Julia which he has lately restored/'
those of the ^Emilia contain the more vague formula, " stat-
uam conlocari praBcepit quse ornamento basilicce esse posset
inlustri" Together with these and other pedestals a set
of plinths has been found, with inscriptions which show
their respective statues to have been the work of Praxiteles,
of Polycletus, of Timarchus, of Bryaxis, etc. Could we be-
hold once more, could we catch only a glimpse of this mar-
vellous array of masterpieces, by which the Sacred Way of
the decadence was transformed into the finest art gallery
the world has ever seen, where every famous artist and
school was represented by its best productions ! Unfortu-
nately they were not chiselled in marble but cast in bronze,
which means that they all are beyond hope of rediscovery.
It is to be regretted that the excavation of the ^Emilia
has been given up, at least for the time being, when the
section laid bare amounts scarcely to two fifths of the total
1 "Stabunt et sera innoxia quse nunc habentur idola !" Prudentius, Peris-
teph. ii. v. 479, 480.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 147
area. As far as we can judge at this imperfect stage of
exploration, the noble building comprised three parts : a
central hall divided into nave and aisles by a double line
of columns ; a row of
rooms or offices on either
side of the hall, opening
on the outside porticoes ;
and these last - named
porticoes, which deco-
rated the longitudinal
sides of the building.
The rooms, or offices,
each 5.41 metres wide,
7.15 metres deep, the
pavement of which is in-
laid with white and poly-
chrome marbles in grace-
ful and sober design,
were identified soon after
their discovery with the
"Tabernse Novae" of
the republican Forum
unnecessarily, I believe.
The rooms form part
of the essential plan and
frame of the basilica,
corresponding in width to the arcades of the portico on
which they open j in other words, there are as many rooms
as there are arcades in the facade. Edifices of this kind
must have had plenty of meeting and sitting rooms for
jurors, judges, lawyers, clerks, and witnesses; others in which
records and " pieces & conviction " were kept. It may be
possible also that some of the apartments were let to bank-
A " candeliera " or marble pilaster of
the Basilica ^Emilia.
148 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
ers and money-lenders, called " argentarii " and " nummu-
larii" respectively. Well known are the nummularii of
the Basilica Julia, like T. Flavins Genethlius, a Thracian
by birth, who took to banking after having been a rider in
the circus, or L. Marcius Fortunatus, who married the girl
Zoe when only sixteen years of age. 1 If this sort of peo-
ple showed partiality for the Julia, it is easy to conceive
what a competition there must have been about renting
rooms in the ^Emilia, which stood right in the " Wall
Street " of classic Rome.
The existence of bankers (argentarii) at Rome can be
proved as early as 309 B. c., although silver (argentum) was
not coined in Roman mints before 268 B. c. Their name,
however, can be very well explained if we regard them as
the changers of foreign (especially south Italian and Etrus-
can) silver coins into Roman bronze currency. In progress
of time the money-changing business passed into the hands
of an inferior class of agents, called " nummularii," while
pure banking-affairs, like the opening of current accounts,
the receiving of deposits, the making of loans, was reserved to
the argentarii. They acted in a strictly private capacity, and
whenever in early times we hear of public or state bankers,
we may be sure they were appointed for a special emergency,
under the name of " tres viri mensarii," chiefly to lend
money to private individuals during a financial crisis, such
as those which occurred in B. c. 351 and 216. When the
public treasury lent aid to business men in a similar stress
A. D. 33, Tiberius seems to have done it through ordinary
bankers, who at all events were always considered to exer-
cise a public function. Just as stockbrokers in London are
licensed by the Lord Mayor, and in Dublin by the Lord
Lieutenant, so in Rome the bankers were under the super-
i Corpus Inscr. vol. vi. 9709, 9711, etc.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 149
vision of the prefect of the City, and in the provinces under
that of the governor.
The business transacted in their offices were the " permu-
tatio," or the exchange of foreign for Roman coin, subject
to the payment of a small agio the drawing of bills of
exchange payable by correspondents abroad, an operation
which made it imperative for the banker to be acquainted
with the current value of the same coin in different coun-
tries and at different times, and the keeping of sums of
money for clients. If the money was deposited by the
owner as a " depositum," that is, to save himself the trouble
or danger of keeping it and making payments, then the
banker paid no interest, but simply honored the cheques of
the client as long as there was a balance in his favor ; but
when the money was deposited, as a " creditum," at interest
A marble panel from the Basilica ^Emilia.
for a specified lapse of time, the banker was allowed to use
and invest it as he thought best for the common interest.
In case of failure the law enacted that the claims of the
" depositarii " should be satisfied before those of creditors
who had money at interest in the bank. " Of all this busi-
150 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
ness," says Professor L. C. Purser, 1 " of the receipts as well
as of the expenditure the bankers kept accurate accounts in
books called ' codices/ ' tabulaB,' or ' rationes,' and there
is every reason for believing that they were acquainted with
what is called in bookkeeping ' double entry.' '
The central hall of the basilica, where justice was dis-
pensed, was divided into nave and aisles by two rows of
columns, bf which many pieces have been found. The pave-
ment, quite well preserved, is inlaid with slabs of giallo. por-
tasanta, africano, cipollino, etc., all rectilinear and arranged
so as to harmonize in design with the site of the columns.
The peculiarity of this pavement is that it has been
found covered from one end to the other with loose copper
coins of the end of the fourth century. And as this ab-
normal dispersion of coins was either contemporary with or
very soon followed by a raging fire (ashes, coals, and burnt
matter in general have been found all over the place, form-
ing the first and lowest layer of the stratified rubbish)
many of them have been melted and welded together into
a shapeless mass of metal. These masses, as well as sin-
gle coins, have also been cemented against the slabs of
the pavement, which appears all marked with spots of ver-
digris. I do not know how many thousand specimens of
this worthless currency have been put aside just now ; but
what I know is that, great as their number may be, we are
only collecting what the Cinquecento excavators have left
for us to pick, after appropriating the better part of the
spoils. Bartolomeo Marliano, contemporary with the loot-
ing of the basilica in 1531, mentions " magnam aereorum
nummorum copiam " (a great quantity of copper coins)
found by the marble-cutters and limeburners of his days.
This band of devastators did irreparable injury to the
1 In his excellent article in Smith's Diet. vol. i. pp. 179-183.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 151
basilica, reaching the lowest level of its foundations in their
quest for building materials, and wrenching from their sock-
ets even the tufa blocks upon which the columns of the
nave stood. The spoliation of the Basilica ^Emilia can be
compared only to that of the temples of Caesar and Vesta, of
which merely the cores of the foundations remain to mark
their respective sites. That of the ^Emih'a must have
^x '" oral, i
The oldest known view of the ruins of the Forum, now in the Escurial.
begun at a very remote period, probably before the end of
the fourteenth century, when we hear of a great limekiln,
called the " calcaria ecclesiae sancti Adriani," established
among its ruins, and fed with its marbles. A second cam-
paign of destruction was inaugurated in 1431, when Pope
Eugenius IV. granted leave to Filippo di Giovanni da Pisa,
stonecutter, to demolish the " old walls known to exist
in the place called Zeccha antiqua," by which name the
" ciceroni " of the fifteenth century used to designate the
neighborhood of S. Adriano. According to Flavio Biondo,
152 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
an eyewitness, it took ten years to uproot the foundations
of the basilica and to burn into lime whatever materials
had escaped the kilns of the preceding century ; but in
fact the destruction lasted many years longer, through the
pontificates of Calixtus III. and Pius II.
Towards the end of the century nothing was left stand-
ing except a corner of the edifice, to which the name of
" Forinbuaro " (Forum Boarium) had been applied, for the
same reason that Metella's mausoleum is still called " Capo
di Bove," that is, on account of the bulls' heads or skulls
sculptured on the frieze. This noble ruin had probably
been spared by the Quattrocento vandals out of respect for
the saint, whoever he was, under whose protection they were
placed and whose chapel they contained. Cardinal Adriano
Castelli da Corneto, however, did not carry his scruples so
far ; he simply laid hands on the last remnant of the basilica
in 1496, making use of the marbles for his palace (now Tor-
lonia-Giraud) in the Borgo di S. Pietro.
Bramante, Antonio da Sangallo the elder, Fra Giovanni
da Verona, and Baldassarre Peruzzi have left most interest-
ing drawings of what they saw discovered and destroyed
on this occasion, which I have reproduced in facsimile in
my Memoir on the Senate House in the " Atti dei Lincei "
for January, 1883, vol. xi.
After this long tale of disasters we should feel inclined
to believe that the wretched spot was left in peace ; but we
have yet to deal with the worst gang of depredators, those
of Paul III., whose deeds positively cast into the background
those of the so-called barbarians of Alaric, Genseric, and
Robert the Norman. I have related in " Ruins and Exca-
vations," p. 247, how sentence of death was passed on the
monuments of the Forum and of the Sacra Via on July 22,
1540, by a brief of the genial Pope Farnese by which the
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 153
Commissioners for the rebuilding of St. Peter's were given
absolute liberty to search for ancient marbles wherever they
pleased, to remove them from antique buildings, and to pull
these buildings to pieces if they thought it best for their
purpose. They started from Faustina's temple in 1540-41
and reached the opposite site of the valley by the Vortum-
nus and the Augusteum nine years later, carrying off, burn-
ing into lime, crushing into fragments every vestige of the
stone-work and marble decoration of the arches of Fabius
and Augustus, of the temples of Caesar and Vesta, of the
Regia, of the Augusteum, etc. As regards the Emilia, it
seems that, to revenge themselves for their disappointment
at finding the place looted already, they uprooted out of
pure wantonness the foundations down to the level of
spring water, because the possession of a few blocks of tufa
certainly could not have repaid the trouble and expense of
boring such deep trenches.
By a singular chance two marble blocks, containing
only eight letters, escaped their attention ; but these eight
letters, PAVL . . . and REST . . . , tell a long and decisive
tale. They bring back to our memory the last episode in
the history of the building, the RESToration made at the
time of Tiberius by a PAVLUS (^Emilius), descendant of the
founder. Other marble fragments have been found near
the site of the limekiln, or else lying on the pavement of
the Via ad Janum. They all belong to the true golden
age of Roman art.
Let us now turn our attention to the discoveries made
quite lately in connection with the basilica and grave of
Paul the Apostle, whose figure appeals to us more forcibly
than any other in the history of the propagation of the gos-
pel in Rome. I do not speak so much of reverence and
admiration for his work, as of the sympathy and charm
154 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
inspired and conveyed by his personal appearance. In all
the portraits which have come down to us by the score,
painted on the walls of underground cemeteries, engraved
in gold leaf on the love-cups, cast in bronze, worked in
repousse on silver or copper medallions, or outlined in mo-
saic, the features of Paul never vary. He appears as a
thin, wiry man, slightly bald, with a long, pointed beard.
The expression of the face is calm and benevolent, with a
gentle touch of sadness. The profile is unmistakably Jew-
ish ; in fact, although born in a gentile city, and of parents
who had acquired by some means the Roman franchise,
although brought up to speak and write with freedom and
mastery the Greek language, and made to feel the influ-
ence and the atmosphere of a cultivated community, Saul
was essentiaUy a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As to the air of
refinement which pervades his countenance, we must re-
member that, though he was a o-KrjvoTroios or tentmaker by
trade, we are not obliged to believe that he was actually
compelled to manual labor. The province of Cilicia in
general, and Tarsus, his birthplace, in particular, were
known for the manufacturing of a goat's-hair cloth called
cilicium, largely used for tents. It is not impossible that
Saul's father may have owned one such establishment, in
which the future apostle underwent his apprenticeship.
The picture I have attempted to sketch does not differ
essentially from the one drawn by Conybeare and Howson l
from elements gathered from Malalas, Nicephorus, and the
apocryphal " Acta Pauli et Theclse." Conybeare and How-
son ascribe to the apostle a short stature, a long face with
high forehead, an aquiline nose, close and prominent eye-
brows. " Other characteristics mentioned are baldness,
gray eyes, a clear complexion, and a winning expression. Of
1 Life and Epistles of St. Paul, p. 762 b .
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 155
The road by which St. Paul approached Rome.
his temperament and character St. Paul is himself the best
painter. . . . We perceive the warmth and ardor of his
nature, his deeply affectionate disposition, the susceptibility
of his sense of honor, the courtesy and personal dignity of
his bearing, his perfect fearlessness, his heroic endurance." l
I believe that the attempt made by Jowett some forty
years ago, to demolish what he calls a blind and undis-
criminating admiration for Paul, by representing him as a
man whose appearance and discourse made an impression of
feebleness, out of harmony with life and nature, a confused
thinker, expressing himself in broken words and hesitating
form of speech, with no beauty or comeliness of style, has
met with but little success.
St. Paul saw Rome for the first time in the month of
January of the year 61. After his eventful journey across
the sea, from Adramyttium to Fair Havens and Malta, his
shipwreck on the coast of that island, and a second crossing
to the Bay of Naples, he landed at Pozzuoli, and following
1 Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, ed. 1863.
156 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
the Via Campana to Capua, and the Via Appia to Forum
Appii, Tres Tabernse, and Bovilke, entered the city by the
old Porta Capena. 1
Julius, the centurion of the eleventh legion Augusta, who
had accompanied him by order of Porcius Festus, governor
of Judea, handed him over to Afranius Burro, prefect of the
Prsetorium. He was given a sort of bail, with freedom to
preach and evangelize, under the supervision of a police
officer. After a lapse of two years, no accuser having come
forth to challenge his appeal to the emperors, he under-
went his trial in the " consilium principis " and was re-
stored to full liberty and the full enjoyment of his rights
of Roman citizenship. The trial probably took place in
November or December, 63.
Here ends the evidence of the Acts of the Apostles, which
St. Luke is supposed to have finished in the spring of 64.
Other particulars about St. Paul's travels and apostolic life
may be gathered from the Epistles. He visited Rome for
the second time in the year 66, and after a long term of
imprisonment was executed at the Aquae Salvia3 on the Via
Laurentina, on June 29, in either 67 or 68.
In examining the various details concerning St. Paul's visit
to Rome, his execution, his burial, we must sift what is pure
and conclusive biblical or archa3ological evidence from what
does not go beyond the limits of a pious tradition or a de-
vout legend. For instance, when we are told that the hired
house in which the apostle " mansit biennio " (lived for two
years), preaching the gospel freely (" docens qua3 de domino
Jesu Christo sine prohibitione"), is the one the remains
1 Compare, among others, Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, 3d ed.,
London, 1866 ; Farrar, Life and Work of St. Paul, London, 1879, vol. ii.
chap, xliv., xlv. ; Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, Lon-
don, 1895, p. 315.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 159
of which are to be seen under the church of S. Maria in
Via Lata, we must not give credit to the statement ; l be-
cause those remains belong, not to a private dwelling, but
to a great public edifice, to the Septa Julia, one of the
architectural masterpieces of Agrippa, which extends along
the Corso (Via Flaminia) from the Piazza di Venezia to the
Piazza di Sciarra, including the sites of the palaces di Vene-
zia, Bonaparte, Gavotti, Doria, Simonetti, and others. It is
impossible to believe that a private citizen could have lived
in the Septa Julia.
Again, when we are told that St. Paul found shelter in
another Roman house, the site of which is actually marked
by the church of S. Paolino alia Regola, Via dei Vaccinari,
that being the Jewish quarter and the proper field for the
apostle's preachings, we must not believe the statement ;
because the Ghetto, the Jewish quarter of ancient Rome,
was in the Transtiberine region and not in the Campus
Martius. 2 But when we come to the question of the friend-
ship between the apostle and the philosopher Seneca, Afra-
nius Burro, M. AnnaBus Gallic, and other eminent person-
ages of the imperial court, friendship denied by many as
1 " And he abode two years in his own hired dwelling, and received all that
went unto him [xxviii. 30], and preached the kingdom of God, and taught what
concerned the Lord Jesus Christ with boldness, none forbidding him [xxviii.
31]." " We infer, therefore," Canon Farrar says, " that Paul's hired apart-
ment was within close range of the Praetorian Camp."
2 In the excavations which the American School of Athens carried on in
1898 at Corinth, a marble lintel was found among the ruins of a house of the
Roman period, upon which the letters
were engraved. The thought arose that the stone belonged to the very syna-
gogue where Paul " reasoned . . . every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and
the Greeks." The inscription, however, is much later than the apostolic age ;
it simply proves that the meeting-place, made famous by the preaching of
Paul, continued to flourish down to a very late period. Compare Dr. Richard-
son's article in the Century, 1899, p. 854.
160 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
an impossible occurrence, archaeological evidence shows
the fact to be absolutely true. I have already spoken in
" Pagan and Christian Rome," p. 16, of the funeral tablet
found at Ostia in 1867, inscribed with the words " Sacred
to the memory of Marcus Anneus Paulus Petrus, son of
Marcus Anneus Paulus," which gives us the proof of the
bond of sympathy and esteem established between the An-
nei Seneca, the consul suffectus at the time of the first
trial of St. Paul ; his brother Gallio, governor of Achaia
and the founders of the church in Rome. No wonder
that Tertullian, " De Anima," xx., should call the first,
" Seneca ssepe noster " (Seneca very often one of ours) !
How strange it seems that students and visitors in gen-
eral should pay so little attention to the grave of this re-
markable man, remains of which have been found at the
fourth milestone of the Via Appia, on the left or east side
of the road !
L. Annaaus Seneca, son of the-rhetorician Marcus, a Span-
iard by birth, a Roman by residence, banished to Corsica,
A. D. 41, on the suggestion of Messalina, was called back to
the capital in 49, and made the tutor of the young Domitius.
On the accession of his pupil to the imperial throne, under
the name of Nero, Seneca became one of his chief advisers,
exerting his influence to check his vicious propensities, but
taking advantage at the same time of his place of trust to
amass an immense fortune. His suburban villas of Alba,
Nomentum, Baja3, etc., vied in extent and magnificence
with those belonging to the crown, especially one, located
four miles outside the Porta Capena, which Juvenal calls
" magni horti " and Tacitus " sub urban um rus." The con-
spiracy of Piso, A. D. 65, gave Nero the long-sought-for
pretext to get rid of the ill-tolerated adviser ; and although
there was little or no evidence of his being a party to the
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 161
plot, his death was decided upon. Seneca, suffering from
asthma, had stopped for rest, on his return from Campania,
at his villa on the Appian Way, when Granius Silvanus, tri-
bune of one of the praetorian cohorts, surrounded the estate
Portrait bust of Seneca.
with his men, and showed the doomed man the death war-
rant. Without betraying any emotion, " Seneca cheered his
weeping friends by reminding them of the lessons of philoso-
phy. Embracing his wife, Pompeia Paulina, he prayed her
to moderate her grief, and to console herself for the loss of
her husband by the reflection that he had lived an honor-
able life. But as Paulina protested that she would die with
162 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
him, Seneca consented, and the veins in the arms of both
were opened. Seneca's body was attenuated by age and
meagre diet, perhaps also from his attacks of asthma; the
blood would not flow easily, and he opened the veins in his
legs. His torture was excessive ; and to save himself and
his wife the pain of seeing one another suffer, he bade her
retire to her chamber. His last words were taken down in
writing by persons who were called in for the purpose, and
were afterwards published. Seneca's torments being still
prolonged, he took hemlock from his friend and physician,
Statius Annseus, but it had no effect. At last he entered
a warm bath, and as he sprinkled some of the water on
the slaves nearest to him, he said that he made a libation
to Jupiter the Liberator. He was then taken into a vapor
bath, where he was quickly suffocated. Seneca died, as
was the fashion among the Romans, with the courage of a
Stoic, but with somewhat of a theatrical affectation which
detracts from the dignity of the scene."
When the Appian Way was excavated in 1852-53 by
order of Pius IX. some reminders of the philosopher's fate
were discovered in the neighborhood of the fourth mile-
stone : the lid of a sarcophagus representing the death of
Atys, son of Cresus (a subject evidently chosen as a veiled
allusion to the death of Seneca himself), a marble head
showing a remarkable likeness to his well-known features,
and other fragments of a tomb of the first century. All
these relics were set up by Canina on the spot on which
they had come to light, as shown in the accompanying illus-
tration. However, as Seneca was almost certainly cremated
and not inhumated, the sarcophagus cannot pertain to him,
though the resemblance of the head to the inscribed por-
trait of the Villa Mattei cannot be questioned. Another
1 Marindiu, in Smith's Classical Dictionary, ed. 1894, p. 863.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 163
The Via Appia by the so-called tomb of Seneca.
reminder of the same event is to be found in the inscription
discovered by Nibby and Gell, while surveying this section
of the road in 1824, in which mention is made of a Quint us
Granius Labeo, son of Marcus, tribune of the third legion. 1
If we recollect that Granius was the name of the officer of
the same rank, Nero's messenger of death to Seneca, that
he was given in recompense for his services the very villa
in which the tragedy had taken place, and that, after his
suicide in 66, the property must have been inherited by a
near relative, we cannot help connecting the tomb of the
Granii with that of Seneca himself.
To come back to the grave of St. Paul : tradition says
that his body was claimed from the executioner by the in-
evitable matron Lucina 2 and laid to rest in certain catacombs
1 Corpus Inscr. vol. vi. 3521.
2 This merciful lady, if we believe the agiographs of a later age, seems to
have been connected with the most famous executions of Christians from the
apostolic age to the beginning of the fourth century.
164: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
which the pious lady owned on the left or east side of the
Via Ostiensis, back of the apse of the present church, where
the sandstone cliffs of the Vigna Salviucci rise to the height
of forty-two metres above the valley of the Tiber. Here
the sacred remains rested in peace until the persecution
of Valerian (253-260), when Christian cemeteries were con-
fiscated for the first time. After a temporary removal to
the so-called Platonia near the present church of St. Sebas-
tian, they were once more deposited in the original grave,
in the rock-cut catacombs of Lucina.
I have already explained l that, when memorial churches
were raised over and around the tombs of martyrs, after
the peace of the church, the tombs themselves were never
touched, altered, removed, raised, or sunk. If the rock in
the heart of which the catacombs were excavated stood in
the way, and made it impossible to give the memorial build-
ing the required form in length, in breadth, and in height,
the rock was cut away. This was done in accordance with
two rules : first, that the tomb of the hero should occupy
the place of honor in the centre of the apse ; secondly, that
the body of the church should extend east of the tomb.
Applying these principles to the case of St. Paul, it was
generally admitted that Constantine the Great had cut away
the spur of rock containing the catacombs of Lucina, leav-
ing only the grave of the Apostle in situ. The Liber
Pontificalis adds that the grave was encased by the same
emperor in a strong room or cella, made of solid sheets of
bronze, five feet long, five broad, five high. The belief in
this state of things, viz., that St. Paul was actually buried
in a rock-cut catacomb, was so firmly rooted among Chris-
tian archaeologists that in 1867 Monsignor Francis Xavier
de Merode, the pugnacious minister of war of Pius IX.,
1 Pagan and Christian Rome, p. 119.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 165
and a great lover of Christian antiquities, purchased the
Vigna Salviucci where the rock stands with the view of
making clear the connection between the catacombs and the
Several Christian crypts were, to be sure, discovered in the
Vigna Salviucci and in its neighborhood, which de Rossi
identified with those of Timotheus, Felix and Adauctus, and
Commodilla, mentioned in the earliest pilgrim-books, but
no trace of the alleged catacombs of Lucina was found, or
has been found since. The solution of the problem has
been obtained within the last few months in the following
The scheme for the sanitation and drainage of Rome,
which has been carried into execution at a great cost since
1870, involves the construction of two main sewers about
ten miles long, one on the right bank of the Tiber running
parallel with the Via Campana and emptying into the river
at la Magliana, one on the left bank running parallel with
the Via Ostiensis and joining the Tiber at Torre di Valle.
This last leaves the City at the western end of the Pro-
testant cemetery by the pyramid of Caius Cestius, crosses
the road to Ostia a thousand yards outside the gate, and
runs between the apse of St. Paul's and the rock where the
apocryphal catacombs of Lucina were said to be, cutting
the disputed ground at the depth of thirty-four feet. Such
a deep excavation, so near the grave of the Apostle, was
expected to give us the solution of the many problems con-
nected with it. However, before giving the account of
what has been found and of the results obtained, I must
bring back to the memory of the reader the discoveries
made before the present day.
The marble casing of the grave of the Apostle was seen
for the first time on July 28, 1838, when the altar above it,
166 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
injured by the fire of July 15, 1823, was demolished to
make room for the present one. A marble floor was dis-
covered composed of four slabs, on which the dedication
PAVLO APOSTOLO MART(yn)
is engraved in large letters of the time of Con stan tine. The
slabs and their precious inscription were left visible under
the new canopy, and I have myself had the privilege of
studying them at leisure (on December 1, 1891), by lower-
ing myself on hands and knees through the " fenestella
confessionis." Two things we must bear in mind : first,
that the slabs inscribed with the name of Paul are not in
their original position, but appear to have been replaced
over the grave most negligently, in a slanting direction ;
secondly, that the inscription is mutilated at the right end,
the last three letters of the word MART(yH) being missing.
Other discoveries took place in 1850, when Pius IX. was
laying the foundations of the new canopy ; they are of par-
amount interest for the question we are investigating. It
was then ascertained that Paul's grave stands on the mar-
gin of an old road, paved with blocks of lava, amidst other
tombs of purely pagan type. According to the evidence
of an eye-witness, Father Paul Zelly, who was then abbot of
St. Paul's, the old road runs at a distance of fifteen feet
west of the grave, and at an angle of about 14 with the
Via Ostiensis, into which it runs lower down. Besides the
Apostle's grave there were the remains of a columbaria
or square sepulchral chamber with pigeonholes for cinerary
urns. This tomb was found almost intact, but it seems
that no attention was paid to it, no drawings taken, and no
copies made of the inscriptions which probably accompanied
each pigeonhole. I have lately come into possession of
some notes, taken at the time of these finds by Vespignani
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 167
the elder, who acted as assistant to Luigi Poletti, the re-
builder of St. Paul's, but they are of no special importance.
The objects put aside " nel cavo della seconda confessione
in settembre 1850 " l were the tombstones of a C. Julius
Berullus and of a
Priscilla, both pre-
ceded by the invo-
cation Diis Mani-
bus ; two Christian
ones, several brick
stamps from the
kilns of Faustina
the elder, and one
from the Officina
Fauriana. They do
not throw much
light on the ques-
tion; and yet we
are sure that if
had been paid to
and a more careful
search made among
the tombs and
lined that bit of road, we should now know the name of
the personage who had given the first disciples of Christ in
Rome the permission to bury St. Paul in his own family
The cutting for the main sewer has revealed the follow-
ing facts. First, there is no connection whatever between
1 In the foundations of the new Confession, September, 1850.
A view of the tomh and canopy of St. Paul.
168 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
the grave of St. Paul and the many Christian catacombs
with which the rock of the Vigna Salviucci is honey-
Secondly, these catacombs belong at all events to a much
later period than the apostolic age. Boldetti claims to have
read in one of them the date of the year 107, marked with
the consulship of Sura and Senecio, and that of the year 111,
marked with the consulship of Piso and Bolanus. These
are certainly the oldest dates ever discovered in Roman
catacombs ; but even granted that Boldetti has made no
mistake, they are at all events forty years more recent than
the execution of St. Paul.
Thirdly, the whole neighborhood, from the foot of the
rock to the middle of the fields in which the basilica stands,
is thickly covered with pagan tombs of the first and second
centuries. In the space of a few weeks not less than 183
of them have been discovered in the cutting of the drain
Fourthly, these tombs are placed and oriented on the
lines of two Roman roads ; namely, the Via Ostiensis
which fits exactly into the modern one and a branch road
which connects the towpath on the left bank of the Tiber
with the same Via Ostiensis. To this branch road belongs
the pavement discovered in 1850 in the foundations of the
In the fifth place, the person who claimed the body of
the Apostle after the execution, be it the matron Lucina
or not, owned not a catacomb, but a burial-plot in the open
" sub diu " in the angle formed by the junction of the
two roads. Here, nearer to the side lane than to the main
road, a tomb was raised to St. Paul. We do not know of
what nature, size, shape, the tomb was ; whether it bore an
inscription or not. If we are to believe the Liber Pontifi-
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 169
calls, the authority of which after the recent edition of
Duchesne is above suspicion, the grave itself must have
been small. " Eodem tempore fecit Constantinus basilicam
beato Paulo Apostolo . . . cuius corpus ita recondit in sere,
et conclusit sicut Beati Petri." Now the case of solid
metal, inside of which Constantine sealed the body of St.
Peter, was five feet long, five wide, five high. Five Ro-
man feet equal 1.478 metres. The mean height of the
human body being 1.58, the case appears too small. It is
impossible to think that the body of Paul was incinerated,
and the ashes preserved in a cinerary urn ; and even granted
that he was of a stature below the average, the coffin in
which he was laid to rest would certainly have exceeded the
measure of five feet. I agree with Stevenson that the fig-
ures have been altered by the carelessness of early copyists
of the Liber Pontificalis.
Another explanation offered for the short measure of the
case is that the Apostle having been beheaded, the head
may not necessarily have been placed in its right position.
If I remember rightly, twice tombs of beheaded men have
been discovered since the revival of classic studies : one
at Cuma, one in the Vatican district, when Pope Paul III.
was digging for the foundations of the Bastione di Belve-
dere. This bastion occupies part of the site of the ancient
cemetery of the Via Triumphalis. Among the many tombs
and columbaria discovered on that occasion, one belonged
to a decapitated person. Ligorio describes the find in
the following words ("Bodleian," p. 139): "There was
also a sepulchral chamber decorated with stucco reliefs and
paintings, in which a walnut cut out of an agate was dis-
covered ; ... it was lying near a skeleton which had the
1 " At the same time Constantine built the church of St. Paul, enclosing his
body in a case of solid metal, as he had done for St. Peter."
170 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
skull not in its proper place, but across the legs ; and where
the skull should have been, there lay a perfect and beauti-
ful plaster mould of the head of the buried man. This
plaster mould was removed to the private collection of the
In the sixth place, it has been ascertained that the mean
level of the tombs which line the two roads is eleven feet
lower than the level of the modern road, and about nine
feet below that of the nave and aisles of the church.
Comparing these data with the finds of 1850, Stevenson
The Via Ostiensis flooded by the Tiber.
comes to the conclusion that the grave itself must lie about
twelve feet and six inches below the floor of the transept,
and only eleven feet above the mean level of the Tiber,
which runs close by. Now it is a known fact that the Tiber
reaches that height fifteen times a year at least, not to
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 171
speak of extraordinary inundations, like the one of 1870,
in the course of which the waters rose twenty-six feet above
the level of the grave. We may safely conclude, therefore,
that the Apostle was buried in a low, damp, almost swampy
field, permanently exposed to the overflow of the river, un-
less precautions had been taken to keep the waters off by
means of levees and embankments and sluices, of which we
know absolutely nothing. The metal case of Constantine
may have saved the grave from the inflow of water after
the erection of the church.
Has the venerable grave come down to us intact since the
time of Constantine ? The question is more easily put than
answered. The church, to be sure, went safely through the
barbaric invasions, being considered an inviolable asylum
even by the Goths and the Vandals. Of this fact we have
the evidence in Epistles 54 and 127 of St. Jerome, where
he describes the fate of Marcella, the founder of monastic
life in Rome. " This noble matron was left a widow after
seven months of marriage, and being pressed by the Con-
sul Cerealis to marry again, determined to sever all connec-
tion with the world for the rest of her life. Following the
rule of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, she dressed
herself in simple garb, gave up the use of wine and meat,
and divided her time between the study of the Scriptures,
prayers, and pilgrimages to the tombs of apostles and mar-
tyrs. St. Jerome became Marcella's spiritual adviser ; such
was the serenity and beauty of her character that in one
of her letters she is addressed as 'the pride of Roman
matrons.' However, when Rome became the prey of the
Goths, the barbarians broke into her peaceful retreat and
tortured her in an attempt to discover the secret hiding-
place of her treasures, treasures that she had long before
given up to the needy. Fearing more for the safety of
172 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
Principia, whom she had adopted as a spiritual daughter,
than for her own life, she threw herself at the feet of the
Gothic chieftain and begged to be conducted to the church
of St. Paul outside the walls, which, like St. Peter's, had
been set apart by Alaric as a refuge for women and chil-
The Saracenic invasion of 846 makes, however, an excep-
tion to the rule. It would be impossible to discuss within
the limits of the present chapter all the arguments brought
forward to prove or disprove the profanation of the tombs
of Peter and Paul in 846. Leaving aside the question
of Peter, of which I have spoken at length in " Pagan
and Christian Rome," p. 148, and in " The Destruction of
Ancient Rome," p. 131, there is unfortunately no doubt
that the infidels plundered at their leisure the Basilica of
St. Paul, and laid their hands on the venerable tomb. We
find the evidence of this fact in chapter xxii. of the Life of
Benedict III., in Duchesne's edition of the Liber Pontifi-
calis, vol. ii. p. 145 : SEPULCHRUM [Pauli Apostoli] QUOD A
SARRACENIS DESTRUCTUM FUERAT PERORNAVIT !
The question is, what did the Saracens actually destroy,
- the altar erected high above the grave, the canopy or
ciborium which covered the altar, or the grave itself ? I
believe that the expression of the Liber Pontificalis is not
to be taken in too literal a sense ; for why should Benedict
III. have restored and redecorated the group formed by the
grave, the altar, and the canopy, if the grave itself had
been profaned and its contents scattered to the four winds ?
And besides, we know that the word DESTRUCTUM, " de-
stroyed," is an exaggeration ; because the marble slab with
the epitaph PAVLO APOSTOLO MART(?/H) is still in exist-
ence, and it is the original of Constantine's time, not a copy
made by Benedict III. The tomb incurred another risk in
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL. 173
The new facade of St. Paul's.
the sack of 1527, when the scum of the soldiery from Spain,
Germany, and northern Italy pillaged the City and its sacred
edifices for the space of several weeks. L. Mayerhofer,
in the " Historisches Jahrbuch," 1891, p. 721, has pub-
lished a letter written by an eye-witness, a clerk from
Speyer named Theodoric Vaf er alias Gescheid, and dated
June 17 of that eventful year, in which he expressly says :
" We have (or they have) profaned all the churches of
Rome ; men and women have been slain over the altar of
St. Peter's ; the tomb or coffin inside which the remains
of Peter and Paul had been laid to rest has been broken
open, and the relics dispersed " ( Urnam sive tumbam,
in qua requiescebant ossa S. Petri et Pauli effregerunt et
ipsas reliquias profananmt}. One thing is certain, how-
ever : none of the many hundred published or unpublished
accounts of the sack of 1527, consulted by Gregorovius,
174 THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GRAVE OF ST. PAUL.
Grisar, Orano, and other specialists, mention this incident,
which, considering the extraordinary devotion of the Romans
to the founders of the church, would have caused them
greater grief than all the horrors, massacres, tortures they
endured in those days. Briefly my opinion is this : The
grave of St. Paul has come down to us, most likely, as it
was left by Constantine the Great, enclosed in a metal case.
The Saracens of 846 damaged the outside marble casing
and the marble epitaph, but did not reach the grave. As
to the nature of the grave itself, its shape, its aspect, its con-
tents, I am afraid our curiosity will never be satisfied.
This most fascinating of Roman churches is closely con-
nected with England and especially dear to the Anglo-Saxon
race. As the emperor of Austria was the protector of St.
Peter's, the king of France of St. John Lateran, the king
of Spain of S. Maria Maggiore, so the kings of England
were the defenders of St. Paul outside the walls. In the
shield of the abbot, above the gate of the adjoining clois-
ters, we still behold the arm grasping the sword, and the
ribbon of the Garter with the motto : " Honi soit qui mal
y pense ! "
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
IN perusing the first part of the sixth volume of the
" Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum," which contains about
a thousand dedications to gods and goddesses, 1 found in
Rome or in its immediate vicinity, we are struck by the
variety and strangeness of names which appear in the roll.
No nation has ever shown such liberality in opening the
gates of its Olympus to newcomers as the Romans have
done. What the Gospel says of the centurion detached at
Capernaum, and of his inquiries into the Jewish religion,
may be applied to a great many other officers and magis-
trates in charge of Roman interests in the far-away prov-
inces of the Empire ; in fact every soldier, every sailor who
came back to his native place, on receiving the " honesta
missio," carried with him fresh superstitions gathered from
the more or less civilized lands in which he had kept
garrison. Another source of corruption of the simple old
Roman religion may be found in the harbors of Ostia and
Portus, where thousands of ships landed every year from
every corner of the Mediterranean, the crews of which were
allowed to worship in their own fashion, under the guid-
ance of their consul, or " proxenos," who was invested at the
same time with the functions of " archiereus," or high priest.
The authorities at Rome, both clerical and civil, tried to
stop the invasion of foreign deities and the import of for-
1 Pars prima Inscriptiones Sacrce, pp. 1-150, nn. 1-871 (appendix, nn. 3671-
3744 a ). Two or three hundred more have been found since 1876.
176 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
eign mysteries, with little or no result. I was present many
years ago at the discovery of a foreign lodge, or " mega-
rum," in the harbor of Porto, where the adepts of the wor-
ship of Isis and Serapis held their meetings ; and in giving
an account of the find (in " Bullettino dell' Institute " of
1868, p. 227) I was led to inquire into the legal condition
of these adepts in respect to Roman religious legislation.
I must acknowledge that no decided line of action was ever
followed in dealing with these intruders. Periods of tol-
erance succeeded outbursts of persecution, and vice versa,
until the adepts were almost forced to seek safety in secrecy.
Hence the great number of " Mithra3a," " Metroa,"
" megara," sacred caves and lodges, found daily in Rome
and its jieighborhood. We must also remember that when
the garrison and the police of Rome were no longer allowed
by Septimius Severus to be drafted from the ranks of Ro-
man citizens, but from the semi-barbarian tribes of the lower
Rhine and of the lower Danube, the men brought over
with them their own gods, their Oeol Trarptooi, whom they
could worship in their barracks with absolute impunity.
This state of things has been beautifully illustrated by the
finds made in the barracks of the " Equites Singulares," in
that part of the old Villa Giustiniani, near by the Lateran,
which is now crossed by the Via Tasso.
These " Equites Singulares Augusti " formed a select
body of horsemen, attached to the person of the Emperor,
like our life-guards or " cuirassiers du roi." They were
drafted mostly from amongst the Thracians, the Bata-
vians, the Pannonians, and the Mresians, in contrast to the
PraBtorians, who were taken in preference from the Spanish
and Gaulish provinces, and even from Italy. The Equi-
tes Singulares, who wore helmets without plumes, and car-
ried oval shields, swords, and lances, formed a regiment
THE BACCHUS DISCOVERED IN THE BARRACKS OF THE
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME. 179
one thousand strong, divided into two squadrons, quartered
respectively in the old barracks (castra priora or vetera)
discovered between 1885 and 1887 in the Via Tasso, and
the new barracks (castra nova or Severiana) discovered
in 1733 or 1734 in the foundations of the Corsini Chapel
at the Lateran.
We may gather an idea of the extent of these barracks
from the fact that the present church of St. John Lateran
and the adjoining palace of Sixtus V. occupy only a section
of the last named barracks, 1 and we may appreciate the
splendor of their fittings and decorations from the works
of art which have come to light within their boundaries.
Such are the marble chair, now in the Corsini Library, the
low reliefs of which represent a procession of warriors, a
boar hunt, and sacrificial ceremonies, the work of a Greek
chisel ; and the marble statue of Bacchus now in the Villa
Maraini at Lugano, an iUustration of which is here given.
The greatest and happiest event in the life of a Roman
soldier was his receiving the " honesta missio," or honora-
ble discharge, after serving the required number of years.
During the Republic the legionaries were bound to serve
from sixteen to twenty campaigns, the horsemen only ten.
Under Augustus the term for the legionaries was reduced to
sixteen years, while the city garrison served for twenty, and
the auxiliaries for twenty-five ; but as a matter of fact we
find soldiers commonly retained in the service as " evocati "
long after their legal enlistment had expired, such as T.
1 The church is cut in two by a Roman street, which runs parallel with the
transept of Clement VIII., passes under the canopy of Urban V., and leads to a
postern in the walls of Aurelian below the " Giardino dei Penitenzieri." Con-
stantine, after disbanding (the Praetorians and) the Singulares, made a present
of their empty barracks to Pope Miltiades in 313, for the erection of the " Mo-
ther and Head of all the churches of the city and of the world," and gave up
also a small section of his own imperial Lateran palace, west of the street.
180 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
Cillius from Laranda, who died at the age of seventy after
serving thirty-eight years in the eleventh legion, and Clau-
dius Celer from Verona, who had enlisted at twenty and
died at sixty-three, without giving up his commission. 1 After
Hadrian's time soldiers did not obtain their discharge till
they had seen twenty-five years' service, but during the last
five years they were released from the harder duties. There
were three kinds of discharges : the " honesta missio," when
they received the full recompense for their long and faith-
ful services ; the " causaria," when they were dismissed for
physical incapacity or sickness ; and the " ignominiosa,"
when they were ignominiously cashiered and drummed out
before the whole army.
The day of the honesta missio, when the men secured
either a piece of land or a lump sum of five thousand dena-
rii, or nine hundred dollars, besides the rights of citizen-
ship and of contracting a regular marriage (civitas et con-
nubium), was celebrated by the gallant veterans with a loud
display of loyalty towards the Emperor who had signed
the decree, and of gratitude towards the gods who had
preserved their lives through the hardships and dangers of
so many campaigns. As a rule, the veterans discharged on
the same day and by the same decree joined forces, and
each contributed his own share towards the erection of a
monument which took generally the shape of an " aedi-
cula" or shrine when offered to the gods, or that of a
statue and a pedestal when offered to the sovereign.
I shall never forget the wonderful sight we beheld on
entering the vestibule of the old barracks of the Equites
Singulares in the Via Tasso. The noble hall was found to
contain forty-four marble pedestals, some still standing in
their proper places against the wall facing the entrance,
1 Corpus Inscr. vol. iii. un. 2818, 2834.
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
some upset on the marble floor, and each inscribed with
the dedicatory inscription on the front and with the list
of subscribers on the sides. Some bear dedications to the
Emperor commander-in-chief, as, for instance : " To the
Genius of our Emperor Antoninus Pius. The Thracians
A statuette of Epona discovered at Albano.
honorably dismissed from the regiment of the Equites
Singulares after twenty-five years of service, and whose
names are engraved on the sides of this pedestal, have
raised by subscription this marble statue on March 1st, the
182 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
Emperor and Bruttius Prsesens being consuls for the second
time (A. D. 139)." Then follow thirty-nine names, of which
one is original, Seutheus, the rest are Latinized.
More difficult must have been the wording of the dedica-
tions to the gods, because each of the subscribers had his
own " santo protettore," as we Italians say, and wanted to
tender to him, personally, the expression of his gratitude.
Sometimes not less than eighteen names of gods occur on
a single stone raised by thirty or thirty-five men, of which
some are borrowed from the Roman temples, some from
the dolmens and menhirs of their native lands. To this
last class belong Epona, the goddess of stables and beasts
of burden, whose name of Celtic origin is derived from epus,
horse ; the Fatse, corresponding in number and nature to
the Roman Fates, to the Greek Motpcu, and to the Ger-
man Nornir ; the Matres or Matronse, also three in number,
haunting the forests watered by the Rhine and the Danube,
like the Sulevse or SuleviaB, female geniuses of those dark
and mysterious leafy recesses, addicted to the kidnapping of
children ; Noreia, the genius of the ancient capital of the
Taurisci in Noricum ; Toutates and Hercules Magusanus,
worshipped by the Batavi ; Deus Sabadius, worshipped by
the Moesians ; and Beelef arus, worshipped by the dwellers
in the land of Moab, conquered by Trajan in 106, and an-
nexed to the Empire under the name of Northern Arabia.
Among the vast crowd of foreign deities worshipped in
Rome I shall select three as a subject of study for the
present chapter, the Great Mother of the gods, Mithras, and
Artemis Taurica, because recent excavations have allowed
us to enter over and over again into the secret dens where
their worshippers assembled, and to unravel to a certain
extent the mysteries of their worship.
For the convenience of those among my readers who have
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME. 185
not made a special study of ancient mythology, I shall
briefly state, in regard to Rhea or Cybele, that she was
supposed to be the mother by Chronos of Hestia, Demeter,
Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Hence her Roman title
of Magna deum Mater, the Great Mother of the gods.
Mithras, the god of the sun among the Persians, became
popular in Rome under the name of Sol Invictus. He is
represented in innumerable works of art as a handsome
youth, wearing the Phrygian attire, and slaying a bull which
he has brought to the ground.
The Taurian Artemis was an hyperborean goddess, whom
the Romans identified with Diana. Her worship was mys-
tic and orgiastic, and connected at least in early times
with human sacrifices ; in fact, all strangers shipwrecked on
the coast of Chersonesus Taurica were mercilessly slain on
Cybele became known to the Romans in 206 B. c., when
a meteoric stone considered to represent the goddess was
brought over from Pessinus, and placed in a temple raised
expressly on the west corner of the Palatine Hill, where its
ruins, shaded by a grove of ilexes, stand to the present day.
In its first observance the feast of the Great Mother of the
gods was a mere thanksgiving for the aid granted to the
Roman armies in the Second Punic War ; later on it be-
came a display of the most audacious superstition, and gave
origin to the gathering of secret societies, imbued with the
Phrygian mysteries, in which the beautiful Atys played
also an important part. The myth of this youth is rather
vague. The version current at Pessinus was that Agdistis,
the androgynous offspring of Uranus and Earth, having
been mutilated by the gods, an almond-tree sprang from
her blood, the fruit of which was gathered by Nana, the
186 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
daughter of the river-god Sangarius. She bore a son, the
fascinating Atys, reared by goats in the mountains, who
afterwards fell in love with the royal maiden Sagaritis.
Agdistis or Cybele, stung with jealousy, drove him des-
perate, so that he mutilated himself under a pine-tree, into
which his spirit passed. Violets sprang at its foot from
the blood. The pine-tree, therefore, wreathed with violets
became a sacred emblem of Atys in the wild festivals of
Cybele, whose priests were eunuchs. 1
Their joint festival in Rome began on March 15, with
a procession of men and women carrying the sacred reed
of Atys. On March 22 the sacred pine was borne to the
temple on the Palatine. March 24 was kept as a " dies
sanguinis," a day of blood, of fast and mourning, when the
high priest cut his arm with a knife to commemorate the
self-inflicted wound of the god. March 25 was a day of
rejoicing, when banquets were given, the extravagance and
luxury of which became so intolerable that a maximum of
expenditure that would be incurred by the host was fixed
by a decree of the Senate of 161 B. c. Lastly, on March
25 a procession of priests followed the sacred image to the
first milestone on the road to Ostia, where it was washed in
the waters of the river Almo.
By a singular coincidence my career as an excavator and
as a student of antiquities began in 1867 under the auspices
and with the manifest protection of the Great Mother of the
On May 14 of that year, while my late friend Carlo Lu-
dovico Visconti and I were resting from our morning work
in the sacred field of Cybele at Ostia, a workman rushed
1 " The myth symbolizes the growth of life in nature, especially of plant and
tree life, its death and its resurrection, as well as the twofold character of nat-
ural production, the male and the female." Marindin, in Smith's Classical
Dictionary, ed. 1894, p. 149.
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
into our place of shelter with the tidings that a great find
was just going to take place. I was then beginning to
learn from my companion the last representative of the
Visconti dynasty of archaeologists and Pope's " Commissarii
delle antichita " the gentle art of excavating, for which
purpose we used to
drive once or twice
a week to Ostia,
where twenty or
thirty hands were
employed in explor-
ing those noble ruins :
but I had not yet
seen with my own
eyes a work of statu-
ary come out of the
The sacred field of
Cybele is a triangu-
lar space of ground,
about one acre in
extent, with the tem-
ple of the goddess
at the apex, a colon-
nade on the right
side, and a group of
miscellaneous buildings on the other. The men were at
work in a recess at the east end of the colonnade when
they saw a bronze hand and a marble head appear above
the surface of the rubbish. On reaching the spot we left
the marble figure to the care of the men, and took upon
ourselves the task of setting free the bronze statuette to
which the hand belonged. Like the initiated who used to
Cybele' s arrival in Rome from Pessinns, from a
terracotta bas-relief formerly in the posses-
sion of G. B. Guidi.
188 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
gather together in this field for the celebration of the Mega-
lesia, we shed drops of ichor, as our fingers were bleeding
freely at the end of the exhumation.
I need not give a description of the statue, as the accom-
panying illustration speaks for itself. The original, now
in the Lateran Museum, has been identified by Visconti as
a Venus " Clotho," on account of the spindle which he
thought she was holding in the right hand ; while Helbig
thinks the goddess is simply attending to her toilet. " The
object in her left hand," he says, " was evidently the han-
dle of a mirror, in which she was gazing at her image.
The attribute on the right, much injured by oxidation,
seems to have been a small spatula for laying on rouge."
While we were busy welcoming Aphrodite, the men had
exhumed the recumbent statue of Atys, which, strange to
say, had never left the steps of its altar, nor suffered the
slightest injury from time or at the hands of men. Accord-
ing to the inscription of the plinth, the statue was conse-
crated to the Phrygian god by Gains Cartilius Euplus at
the inspiration of the Magna Mater. The bodily form is
delicate, almost womanly ; the face expresses melancholy
resignation rather than suffering. His connection with
vegetation is symbolized by the solar rays (modern, but in-
serted in the five holes originally bored in the marble) round
his head, by the crown of pine cones, pomegranates, and
other fruit, by the wheat ears and fruit in his right hand,
and by the wheat ears springing from the point of the
Phrygian cap. I distinctly remember that at the moment
of discovery the clothing of the figure retained its original
coloring (pink and ultramarine), while the hair, the cres-
cent, and the ears of corn were heavily gilded.
1 Compare Visconti, in Annal. Tnst., 1869, p. 216, and Helbig, Guide, Eng.
ed., 1895, vol. i. p. 515.
THE VENUS CLOTHO
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME. 191
With the finding of these two statues, the surprises which
the sacred field of Cybele held in store for us were by no
means exhausted : we had still to explore the schola or
meeting hall behind the temple, and the Metroon or secret
cave on the left side of it, both of which places contained
an invaluable set of written records, some relating to the
" Collegium Dendrophorum " placed under the invocation of
Silvanus, some to the " Collegium Cannophorum," worship-
pers of the Phrygian gods. These records referred mostly
The statue of Atys found at Ostia.
to gifts of silver statuettes (of Mars, the Mother Earth,
Cybele, Atys, etc.) weighing from one to three pounds each,
offered to the brotherhood by zealous members or else by
the " venerables " of the lodge, both male and female.
There were also records of " taurobolia " or sacrifices of
bulls to propitiate the gods of the sea at the opening of
the navigating season. This interesting place has since
192 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
been allowed to fall into ruin, and its contents have heed-
lessly been removed to the Lateran museum.
Twenty Mithraic sanctuaries, at least, have been found
and explored in Rome and its vicinity in my time, their
main feature being the extreme care taken to conceal their
entrance from outsiders. They are to be met with, not only
in cities and villages, but also in the most secluded districts
of the Campagna, where, it appears, servants and farm-hands
were initiated into foreign religious mysteries by their own
masters or allowed by them to assemble in lodges. In the
spring of the year 1899, while exploring the wild uplands
between the Via Collatina and the river Anio, I was told
by a shepherd in vague and mysterious terms that a figure
of the Madonna had been seen, somewhere in that neigh-
borhood, deep in the bowels of the earth. It took some
weeks for my companions and myself to make out where
and how the story had originated. On the border of the
farm of Lunghezzina, towards the hamlet of Corcolle (Quer-
quetula), we were shown a kind of well, overgrown with
shrubs and brambles, which led to the awe-inspiring cave.
Letting ourselves down by means of a ladder, we found a
dimly lighted passage at the end of which a rock-cut stair-
case descended to unknown depths. We could not count
the steps, as they were covered with mud and rubbish
brought down by the filtering of rain-water, but there must
have been about forty of them. The steps led to a door,
also hewn out of the rock, above which we beheld one of
the brightest and best preserved pictures it has been my
fate to come across. It represents a mystic subject ; and as
far as we could see by the flickering light of a candle and
in an atmosphere darkened by smoke and damp vapors, the
central figure appeared to be Hercules seated on a boulder,
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME. 193
with the club by his side, to whom a winged Victory offers
a drinking cup. Cupids fly above the group in a sky dot-
ted with stars. There is no doubt that the door led into
the crypt used as a lodge by the adepts ; however, the want
of air and of proper light made it impossible for us to
proceed farther, and find out the secret of this remarkable
The lodge of the Mithraic brotherhood in the so-called
imperial palace at Ostia discovered by Visconti in 1867
could only be entered by a dark, narrow, and tortuous pas-
sage, running back of the kitchen and scullery. The other,
which I discovered in the same city in the spring of 1888,
within the house of the ^Egrilii, the best preserved of all,
stands entirely apart from the living rooms, and can be
reached through a corridor built on purpose against all the
Vitruvian rules for a Roman dwelling. The same precau-
tions are manifest in the Mithraeum of S. Clemente (see
illustration on page 197), and in the one of the Via dello
Statute, which I have described in " Ancient Rome," p.
192. The cave which perhaps enjoyed the greatest fame
at the time of the renaissance of classical studies is the
one of the Capitoline Hill, near the great sanctuary of Ju-
piter Optimus Maximus. The particulars concerning this
Mithraeum are rather interesting.
Flaminio Vacca, who has chronicled all the finds made
in Rome in the second half of the sixteenth century, says
(Mem. 19, ed. Fea, 1790) : " I remember to have seen in
my childhood a hole, like a chasm, in the Piazza del Cam-
pidoglio ; and those who dared to enter it said that there
was a woman sitting on a bull. I happened to mention the
subject one day to my master, Vincenzo de Rossi, and he
said he had seen the place ; that it contained a bas-relief set
into the rock in a cave which cut through the hill from
194 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
the Arch of Severus to the steps of the Aracoeli ; and that
the bas-relief represented the Rape of Europa." We can
easily forgive those simple explorers for their mistake ; the
woman on the bull, the Europa of Master Vincenzo de
Rossi, was nothing else but the image of Mithras Tauroc-
tonos, that is, of Mithras slaying the bull. These things
happened in 1548. Shortly afterwards, on September 4,
1550, another explorer found his way to the cave. I have
discovered a memorandum of this incident in a manuscript
note to a copy of Lucio Fauno's " Antichita della citta di
Roma," now in the possession of the Cavaliere Giulio Vac-
cai, of Pesaro. The memorandum, which must have been
written by a Franciscan brother of the convent of the
Aracoeli, says :
" While I was in Rome in the Anno Santo or jubilee of
1550, I descended with some of my brother monks carry-
ing lighted torches into a crypt under the marble steps
which lead to our church of the Aracoeli. Here we found
the mouth of a cave, shaped like a vaulted corridor, from
which the wind blew in such force that it was difficult to
keep the torches lighted ; and proceeding farther we came
to the foundations of the ( Palace of the Caesars ' [he means
of a noble building] where are baths of wonderful beauty,
and quite well preserved. Lastly, we entered a hall, the ceil-
ing of which was covered with reliefs in stucco : there were
benches and seats round three sides of the hall, while on the
fourth side, opposite the entrance door, we saw a great piece
of marble representing a bull caught by the horns, etc."
The name of Lo Perso given to this cave in the middle
ages, is truly surprising, because it betrays an archaeological
knowledge remarkable for that age, Lo Perso being a mani-
fest allusion to the Persian origin of the god. The name
occurs not only in the epigraphic MSS. of Cola di Rienzo,
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
Nicolas Signorili, and Ciriaco <T Ancona, but also in the
legal deeds of notaries and magistrates. I have found, for
instance, in the records of Giovanni Angelo de Amatis, a
notary of the fifteenth century, the accou-nt of a judgment
delivered on May 31, 1456, by two city officers, Battista de'
Lenis and Paolo Astalli, sitting on a wooden bench "in
tribio dicto lo Perso." It seems that before the collapse
of the underground sanctuary, which must have taken place
soon after the visit of Master Vincenzo de Rossi, the bas-
relief was removed to a place of safety. Pignorio saw it in
1606 in the Piazza del Campidoglio. It passed afterwards
into the Borghese Collection, whence it was stolen by the
French in 1808. It is
now exhibited in the
The late Commen-
datore de Rossi has
pointed out first of all,
I believe, that the ex-
istence of many Mith-
rsea and Metroa near
or under the great
sanctuaries of pagan
and Christian Rome
cannot be accidental.
De Rossi thinks that
the members of these brotherhoods sought deliberately and
intentionally the contact of the Capitol and of the Vati-
can, in their attempt to counteract, as it were, the influence
of those two great centres of Roman religion. I may add
that the Mithneum called Lo Perso, which I have just men-
tioned, was by no means the only one bored in the rock of
the Capitoline Hill. When the carriage road, known as the
The Mithriac bas-relief in the cave of
196 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
Salita delle Tre Pile, from the three pots, or " pignatte,"
which form the coat of arms of Pope " Pignatelli," In-
nocent XII., the maker of the road, was repaired and
enlarged in 1873, I found, on January 3, a staircase cut
out of the rock, at the back of the garden which formerly
belonged to Michelangelo's house, and a small cave, at the
bottom of the stairs, which contained the Mithraic bas-
relief published in " Bullettino Comunale," vol. i. p. 114,
plate iii. The cave must have been a private one, judging
from its small size, and from the absence of the side
benches, where the members usually sat according to the
degree they had gained in the lodge. There were seven
degrees in all, marked not by numbers, but by a name in
the following order : I. corax, raven ; II. cryphius (/cpvc^tos),
secret ; III. miles, soldier ; IV. leo, lion ; V. Perses, Per-
sian ; VI. heliodromus (^XfoSpo/ao?), sun-runner ; and VII.
pater, the venerable of the lodge. This is the reason why
the pavement of the lodge found at Ostia in 1888 in the
house of the ^Egrilii is divided by bands of black mosaic
into as many compartments as there were degrees of initia-
tion. The promotion from one to another could not be
obtained unless the candidate had successfully withstood
certain trials, which are beautifully illustrated in a bas-
relief found near Botzen, and published by Layard.
I must acknowledge, however, that the contact between
these dens of mystery and the pagan or Christian sanctu-
aries above ground was not always sought by the sectaries :
sometimes the reverse took place, and the sacred caves were
given up to the Christians, to be purified under the name of
the true God. Such was the case with the Mithra3um of
Alexandria, which, having been abandoned for some time
by the initiated, was given by the Emperor Constantius to
the local congregation in 361. And while the Christians
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
were searching the place, and investigating how it could be
turned into a church, they found a secret passage contain-
ing human bones, believed to be remains of human sacri-
fices. These ghastly relics were shown to the populace,
together with the uncanny representations of the Mithras
The lodge discovered in 1870, under the church of S. Clemente.
leontocephalus, Mithras-stone, etc. ; but as the population
was still essentially pagan, and addicted to all sorts of mys-
terious practices, the revelation of the secrets of the Mith-
raeum gave rise to the outbreak described by Socrates and
Sozomenos, followed by pillage, arson, and murder. The
scheme for raising a church on the site of the Mithrseum,
put aside for the time being, was taken up once more
in 389, by Bishop Theophilus, and again the attempt was
followed by a revolution, in the course of which hundreds
of Christians fell the victims of the infuriated mob.
When the work for the erection of the national monu-
ment to King Victor Emmanuel on the Capitol began in
198 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
1883, we felt sanguine that the many and vexed problems
connected with the topography of the famous hill would
soon find their solution. The results have been rather
disappointing, except as regards the respective location of
Jupiter's temple (Capitolium) and of the Citadel (Arx),
which has been made clear, beyond the least shade of doubt.
The temple stood on the southwest summit, now occupied
by the Caffarelli palace, the Citadel on the site of the Ara-
cosli. The latest link in the chain of evidence was obtained
in November, 1892, with the finding of a pedestal, the dedi-
catory inscription of which begins with the words : " Flavia3
Epicha(ridi) sacerdotia3 dese virginis cselesti(s), prsesentis-
simo numini loci Montis Tarpei," etc. (To Flavia Epicharis,
a priestess of the Dea Cselestis, the protecting deity of the
Tarpeian hill, etc.). The grammar of the text is uncer-
tain and the spelling decidedly wrong, but the meaning is
interesting. We learn from this inscription that another
meeting place of a mysterious sect had been established
November, 259 A. D., on the side of the hill, the precipitous
face of which was known by the name of the Tarpeian
Rock ; that the members of the lodge were of the female
sex, except the chaplain, a certain Junius Hylas, who hap-
pened to be the husband of Flavia Epicharis herself ; that
they were organized in degrees, two of which were named
of the sacratce and of the canistrarice ; and lastly, that
the titular goddess of the lodge was the Virgo Ccelestis, a
Roman representative of the Phoenician Astarte, and of the
Carthaginian Juno, whose worship was first introduced
into Rome by Scipio, at the close of the Third Punic War.
It is possible that at so late a period as the one to which
the inscription of Flavia Epicharis belongs, when religious
syncretism was so highly in favor, the name of Virgo Ca3-
lestis may have been attributed to Juno, the true Roman
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN HO Ml-:.
The cliffs of the Capitoline Hill, south face.
Juno, to whom the northeast summit of the hill was espe-
Among the points which these excavations have failed to
make clear is that concerning the site of the corner-stone
of the great temple of Jupiter, laid on June 1, A. D. 71,
and the consequent burial of an enormous mass of gold and
silver in the heart of the hill. As the subject is rather new
and of considerable interest for the excavators of antique
edifices, I beg leave to enter into more particulars.
The old temple of Jupiter, the cathedral as it were of an-
cient Rome, designed by Tarquinius the Elder, finished by
his son, and dedicated by the consul M. Horatius Pulvillus,
on September 13, 509 B. c., stood erect for four hundred
and twenty-six years. An unknown malefactor, taking ad-
vantage of the inflammable material of which the temple
was built, set fire to it, and reduced it to a heap of ashes
on July 6, 86 B. c.
200 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
Its reconstruction was intrusted, first, to Q. Lutatius
Catulus, later to Julius Caesar. The inscription of Ancyra
mentions a second restoration by Augustus.
During the civil disturbances of Vitellius the Capitolium
was burnt to the ground for the third time. Vespasian
inaugurated the works of reconstruction, carrying away on
his shoulders a basketful of rubbish, which, according to
the direction of the augurs, was dumped into a marsh.
The following details about the laying of the corner-
stone, on June 21, A. D. 71, are given by Tacitus in chap-
ter 52 of the fourth book of the " Historiae."
The space set apart for the ceremony was marked out
with masts and pennants, from which hung festoons of ever-
greens and garlands of flowers. The troops on duty
reached the sacred enclosure in the first hours of the morn-
ing, under a cloudless sky, carrying branches of palm and
laurel instead of the weapons of war. They were soon fol-
lowed by the Vestal Virgins, clad in their white garments,
and attended by sons and daughters of patrician families,
sprinkling the enclosure with lustral water which they had
drawn from clear springs. The high priest, Plautius ^Eli-
anus, then offered the sacrifice of the Suovetaurilia, which
consisted of a sow, a sheep, and a bull, while the praetor
Helvidius Priscus called down the blessings of the three
Capitoline deities, Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, on the enterprise.
The prayer being over, Priscus touched the gaily ribboned
ropes with which the inaugural stone was bound, and then
magistrates, priests, senators, knights, soldiers, and people
dragged the great block to the edge of the shaft into which
it was to be sunk. The same classes of citizens then
marched past the shaft, each individual dropping into the
cavity a votive offering, consisting mainly of gold and silver
nuggets " as they come from the mines, not worked by
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
We can easily appreciate the value of the treasure buried
in the heart of the Capitoline Hill on June 21, 71 A. D.
It represents the spontaneous offering of the greatest city
in the world, of a population of about a million souls, full of
religious enthusiasm, and impatient to see the august tem-
ple rise again from its ashes. Thousands and thousands of
pounds' worth of gold and silver must have been sunk at
the bottom of the inaugural well. Now it may interest
the reader to know that this invaluable treasure has never
been discovered to the present day.
The platform of the temple on which the Caffarelli
The Lion cut by Flaminio Vacca out of a block of Pentelic marble from the
temple of Jupiter.
palace (now the seat of the German Embassy) was built in
the seventeenth century has never been disturbed until
comparatively recent times. When Martin Heemskerk
drew his celebrated panorama of Rome in 1536, the Monte
202 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
Caprino as the Capitol was then called was covered
with vineyards and gardens. Excavations began after the
middle of the sixteenth century, the results of which are
minutely described by contemporary archaeologists. Blocks
of Pentelic marble were found belonging to the peristyle of
the temple, of such size that Flaminio Vacca was able to
cut out of one of them the great lion now in the vestibule
of the Villa Medici. The platform itself was not touched
until about 1680, when Duke Caffarelli removed (partially)
the fourteen upper layers of stones. Other damage was
inflicted in more recent times.
Now, if the treasure had been detected in one of these
excavations we surely should know about it. A find of this
sort which requires the connivance of several workmen,
and produces a sudden rise in the fortunes of one or more
families, cannot be kept concealed ; and if we possess genu-
ine accounts of treasure hunting and treasure trove from the
darkest period of the middle ages and from the remotest
parts of the City, so much more probably should we have
heard of this one, the most amazing of all, in a spot located
under the very eyes of the magistrates of the City. And be-
sides, the " Historise " of Tacitus, the only document stating
the facts of the case, was unknown to literary men before
the middle of the fifteenth century, when Poggio Braccio-
lini discovered the text in the library of Monte Cassino. In
all probability, therefore, the vast mass of gold and silver
is still awaiting the hand destined to exhume it from its
It is time, however, that we should turn our attention
towards the sanctuary of the Scythian Diana at Nemi, the
last of the three mysterious deities mentioned at the begin-
ning of the chapter.
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME. 203
The Lake of Nemi lies at the bottom of one of the craters
of the Alban range, which measures six miles in circumfer-
ence at the top of the cliffs and four at the water's edge.
Its altitude above the sea is 191 metres, the depth in the
centre 36 metres. When the worship of Diana was first
established on its shores, and all through the classic period
of Roman history, the aspect of the place was very different
from its present appearance. There were then no villages
teeming with life, no fields yielding the choicest produce of
the earth, no villas, no farms, nothing but primeval forests
casting their shadows over the silent waters.
The lake was formed many centuries before the extinc-
tion of the last volcano of the Alban range (Monte Pila).
We may easily imagine what an awe-inspiring place it must
have appeared when the mountains around were shaken
from their foundations by outbursts of incandescent lava,
when the skies were heavy with ashes and smoke, and the
thundering of the " boati," reverberating from cliff to cliff,
from mountain to mountain, was heard as far as Rome.
" Vox ingens," Livy calls it, " vox ingens e luco et summo
montis cacumine ! " No wonder that such a frightful re-
treat should have been selected for the seat of a mysterious
worship, that of the Scythian Diana, the origin of which
is variously explained by Strabo, by Servius, and by Pau-
sanias. The worship seems to have been imported from the
Chersonesus Taurica (Crimea), the abode of rude, savage
tribes, addicted to piracy as well as to the veneration of Ar-
temis, or, according to their own statement, of Iphigenia.
The principal rule of the sanctuary by the Lake of Nemi
was, in fact, truly barbaric and worthy of the Scythians ;
no one could be elected high priest unless he had slain
with his own hands the one who, by a similar deed, had
obtained the dignity before him. It is evident, therefore,
204 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
that the thoughts of the unfortunate priest must have been
directed more to the preservation of his life than to the
service of the goddess. This extraordinary rite was still
flourishing at the time of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus,
but the duels were generally confined to runaway slaves,
one of whom would escape, for the time being, the fate to
which, nevertheless, he was doomed.
In the palace of the Count of Montenegro at Palma,
Majorca, there is a bas-relief three and a half feet long and
two feet high, of archaic workmanship, discovered in 1791
by Cardinal Despuig near the mouth of the outlet of the
lake, at the place called " le Mole di Valle Ariccia," and
reproduced by Sir William Gell in his " Topography of
Rome," p. 327. It is considered to represent the issue of
one of these duels ; the high priest, wounded to death by
his rival, lies on the ground holding with his right hand
the intestines which are protruding from the gash. The
successful antagonist, brandishing the bloody poniard, is
surrounded by four female attendants of the temple, in atti-
tudes expressive of the greatest distress. The prohibitory
laws of Valentinian II. and Theodosius must have put an
end to the practice in A. D. 393. 1
The temple of the Scythian goddess, to whom human
sacrifices were offered in times gone by, rose in the midst
of the great forest on the north side of the lake, at the
foot of the craggy boulder on which the village of Nemi is
now perched. Judging from her figure, as given upon an
ancient vase, the statue of the goddess seems to have been
an almost shapeless stone, with a rude head, and one arm
resting upon a sword. Before the sanctuary expands the
lonely lake, fed by the same springs which are now forced
up to fill the reservoir at Albano. The temple stands not
1 Modern archaeologists disagree as to the interpretation of the bas-relief.
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
much higher than the lake, and might have been easily
flooded except for a wonderful emissary by which the
waters are kept at a fixed level. The emissary, therefore,
must be the work of a very remote age, and this explains
why no mention of it is to be found in ancient writers.
The tunnel is 1,649 yards long, irregular in shape and
direction. It is possible that the temple may have been
The Lake of Nemi, with the second ship outlined by means of floaters.
built on the newly claimed land in commemoration of the
almost marvellous drainage of the lake.
Though nothing in the present day can exceed the
beauty and loveliness of this " Mirror of Diana," as the
ancients called it, where fragrant strawberry fields have
succeeded to the ancient forest, and life and thrift to the
wilderness of old days, its chief celebrity has arisen from
the discovery at the bottom of the lake of two ships of
206 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
great size, and as rich and beautiful as an enchanted
Besides insignificant attempts made frequently by local
boatmen and fishermen, a regular search for the mysterious
wrecks has been undertaken four times, the first by Leone
Battista Alberti, at the time of Eugenius IV. (1431-1439) ;
the second by Francesco de Marchi in 1535 ; the third by
Annesio Fusconi in 1827 ; the last by Eliseo Borghi in 1895,
which has not yet been brought to a close.
Flavio Biondo da Forli, in his " Italia Illustrata," relates
that Cardinal Prospero Colonna, who counted among the
fiefs of the family both Nemi and Genzano, had often heard
from his tenants and fishermen the story of two immense
ships sunk deep in the water, so strong and well preserved
as to resist all attempts made to float them or to demolish
them piece by piece. Prospero being a learned prelate for
his days, and very studious of history and ancient remains,
determined to find out why two such large craft should have
been launched on a narrow sheet of water, enclosed by
mountains on every side, and to what causes their wreck
should be attributed. He sought the help of the " Vitru-
vio Fiorentino," the engineer and mechanician, Leone Bat-
tista Alberti, who built a raft of beams and empty barrels
to support the machinery by means of which the explora-
tion could be made. Skilful smiths prepared hooks, like
four-pointed anchors, hung to chains, to be wound up by
capstans; and seamen from Genoa, "who looked more like
fish than men," were called to adjust the hooks on and
around the prow of the first ship. The immense weight of
the wreck baffled their efforts ; the chains broke ; many of
the hooks were lost, and the few that were successfully
hauled up brought to the surface fragments, which filled
the assistants with marvel and admiration. It was seen
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
that the framework of the vessel, ribs and decks, was of
larch wood ; that the sides were made of boards three inches
thick, caulked with tar and pieces of sail, and protected
by sheets of lead fastened with copper nails. Alberti's de-
scription of the inside is rather obscure. He says the decks
One of the mooring-rings of the first ship.
were built more to resist fire and the violence of men than
to withstand the rain, or the gentle waves of the lake. He
speaks of an iron framework supporting a floor of con-
crete, and also of a lead pipe upon which the name of the
Emperor Tiberius was engraved.
Guillaume de Lorraine and Francesco de' Marchi renewed
the attempt in July, 1535. Guillaume had just invented a
208 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
diving-bell, or something like it, and was trying experi-
ments on the wreck. De Marchi went down first on July
15, and looking through the convex glass of the spy-holes,
which acted like lenses, was horrified at the sight of hun-
dreds of fishes three feet long and as big round as his arm.
They were nothing but " lattarini " or " whitebait," sixty
or seventy of which are required to make a pound. At his
second descent de Marchi remained one hour in the bell.
His operations and doings are cleverly described by him-
self in a curious chapter which is too full of details to be
repeated here. He concludes by saying that the ship was
Another mooring-ring of the first ship.
four hundred and seventy-five feet long, two hundred and
twenty-eight feet broad, and fifty-three feet high.
It is not necessary to dwell on the absurdity of these
figures ; but the true ones, as we shall presently see, are
none the less surprising if we consider the difficulties of
building and launching the huge craft in such an awkward
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME. 209
funnel-shaped hole, and of floating and manoeuvring them
in such a diminutive sheet of water.
The third attempt was made in 1827 by Annesio Fusconi,
who has left an account of his doings in a pamphlet which
has become exceedingly scarce. Fusconi sunk some twelve
The Medusa's head from the first ship.
hundred pounds in the experiment, half the amount being
wasted on a threatrical " mise en scene " for the accommo-
dation of diplomatists, noblemen, and prelates, who were to
witness the beginning of the operations on September 10 of
The enterprise was tried for the fourth time in 1895.
The search made by divers led to the discovery of six
mooring-rings of solid bronze, representing heads of lions,
wolves, and tigers, and one of Medusa, to which objects
a prominent place has already been given in the history of
Greco-Roman art, so exquisitely beautiful are they in
moulding and finish. (See cut on page 212.)
210 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
Let me declare at the outset that the finding of an
ancient ship in good preservation is by no means an ex-
traordinary event among us. Three have already been
discovered in my lifetime, the first in 1876. when the
foundations of the iron bridge at " la Ripetta " were sunk
in the Tiber by means of compressed air. The craft was
so deeply embedded in silt and mud, and the section which
fell within the range of the air-cylinder so small, that no
investigation could be made. -
The second was discovered at Porto d' Anzio in 1884 in
the foundations of the Hotel delle Sirene. The mainmast,
part of the rudder,' and part of the keel, with fragments of
the ribs, were exposed to view. If I remember rightly,
Cavaliere Pietro Jonni, the builder of the hotel, had some
pieces of furniture made out of the wreck.
In the spring of 1885, about two miles west of Astura,
an island and a castle on the Pontine coast well known in
the history of Cicero, Augustus, and Conradin von Hohen-
staufen, and about fifty yards from the shore, which is
there very shelving, a fisherman discovered the wreck of a
Roman trading-ship, the hull of which was filled with am-
phora, or earthen jars, which were used in the shipment of
wine from the islands to the continent.
Crustacea of various kinds had cemented in the course of
centuries the whole mass into a kind of coralliferous rock,
from which it was very hard to extricate an amphora with-
out breaking it, yet four or five beautiful and perfect speci-
mens were saved, which can be seen at present in the grounds
of the Villa Sindici at Porto d' Anzio. See " Ancient Rome,"
In each of these cases, however, we had to deal with
fishing or trading ships of small tonnage and hardly fifty
feet in length. Very different is the case of the Lake of
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME. 211
Nemi ; and we are not far from right if we compare the
vessels which plied on its waters in centuries gone by to
the liners which crossed the Atlantic thirty years ago.
The measurements of the wrecks have been taken very
ingeniously by the head-diver and his assistant under the
direction of the eminent naval engineer Cavaliere Vittorio
Malfatti, to whom we are indebted for an excellent re-
port on the subject of these discoveries, and for exquisite
illustrations of the ship. 1 Floaters, tied to strings, were
fastened at short intervals around the edge of the wood-
work, care being taken to draw the string tightly so as to
have the floater absolutely perpendicular above the point
below. When the operation was finished the people on
shore were surprised to see the form, or horizontal section,
of a great ship appear on the surface of the lake. (See
cut on page 205.)
The exactitude of the proceedings was verified at a sub-
sequent period by measurements taken directly on the wreck
Plan of the first vessel, from Captain Malfatti's survey.
itself. The length between the perpendiculars has been
ascertained to be two hundred feet, the beam about sixty
feet. The depth of hull cannot be measured on account
of the silt which fills it to the level of the deck.
i Published in the Rivista Marittima, June, 1896, and July, 1897, under the
title, " Le navi Romane del lago di Nemi," part i., ii.
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
The deck itself must have been a marvellous sight to be-
hold. The fanciful naval engineer who designed and built
these floating palaces must have been allowed to follow the
most extravagant flights of his imagination without regard
to time and expense. The deck is paved with disks of
porphyry and serpentine not thicker than a quarter of an
inch, framed in segments and lines of white, gold, red, and
green enamel. The parapets and railings are cast in metal,
and heavily gilded ; lead pipes inscribed with the name of
Caligula carried the water to the fountains playing amid-
ship and mixing their spray with the gentle waves of the
Some of the decorations of the first ship, from Malfatti's photograph.
lake. There are other rich decorations, the place of which
in the general plan of the vessel has not been yet made clear.
The second ship appears to be even larger. One of the
beams brought ashore measures eighty-five feet, although
broken at one of the ends. The length between the per-
STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
pendiculars probably exceeds two hundred and fifty feet.
An Atlantic liner of such dimensions would have been con-
sidered almost gigantic a quarter of a century ago. We
knew that the ancients, especially the Syracusans, had built
Timber from the frame of the first ship, landed near the " Casa del Pescatore."
large and wonderful vessels, but we were not prepared
to find a monster two hundred and fifty feet long with
marble terraces, enamelled decks, shrines, fountains, and
hanging gardens in a little speck of water, hardly four
thousand feet in diameter. We must remember in deal-
ing with this question that the quinqueremis, the typical
man-of-war of the ancients, from the end of the third cen-
tury B. c. downwards, with her complement of three hun-
dred and ten oarsmen, measured only one hundred and
sixty-eight feet in length, twenty-six feet in breadth, with
a height above water of fifteen feet and a draught of
eleven and a half feet.
214 STRANGE SUPERSTITIONS IN ROME.
I am sure the kind reader would be pleased to know
why two such great ships should have been launched on
"Diana's mirror/' between the years 37 and 41 of the
Christian era, under the rule of Caligula, whose name is
engraved on the water pipes. I am inclined to believe that
they were the property not of the state or of the Emperor,
but of the sanctuary of Artemis Taurica, the remains of
which, excavated by the Frangipani in 1554 and 1737, by
the Orsini in 1856, by Lord Savile Lumley in 1885, and by
Luigi Boccanera in 1887, are still to be seen commanding
the north shore at a place called il Giardino. I believe
also that they were used not so much for the conveyance of
pilgrims from shore to shore, as for religious ceremonies
and for combined processions on land and on water. If
we live to see the ships floated again, or beached on the
sandy margin of the lake, no doubt they will reveal to us
the secret of their origin and of their fate.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
THE date of the arrival of the first Jews in Rome is not
known, but we are told that the first embassy sent by
Judas the Maccabee to seek the friendship of the mighty
nation was received by the Senate in 160 B. c. Other am-
bassadors came in 145 in the name of Jonathan, brother
and successor of Judas. The final treaty of friendship and
commerce was signed only in 139, Simon, the third Macca-
bee, representing his nation, Popillius Lsenas and Calpur-
nius Piso being consuls at Rome. The connection of this
great Hebrew family with Rome is actually recorded by a
monument, of doubtful authenticity, it is true, yet very cu-
rious and interesting. While the new." Confessione " was
being excavated and built at the foot of the high altar
in the church of S. Pietro in Vinculis, September, 1876, a
marble sarcophagus was found, divided into seven com-
partments. The sarcophagus itself is an indifferent pro-
duction of a Christian stonecutter of the fifth century,
with bas-reliefs representing five subjects : the raising of
Lazarus ; the miracle of the loaves and fishes ; the woman
1 Compare Emmanuel Rodocanachi : Le saint Siege et les Juifs, le Ghetto a
Rome, Paris, 1891 (Bibliography, pp. xiii xv) ; A. Bertolotti, " Les Juifs a
Rome aux xvi,xvii, xviii, siecles," in Revue des Etudes juires, 1888, fasc. 4 ; Pie-
tro Manfrin, Gli Ebrei sotto la dominazione romana, Roma, 1888-1890 ; Ettore
Xatali, // Ghetto di Roma, 1887 ; W. D. Morrison, The Jews under the Roman
Rule, 3d ed., London, 1896; A. Berliner, Geschichte der Juden in Rom,
Frankfurt, 1893 (Bibliography, pp. 220-222) ; A. S. Barnes, M. A., St. Peter in
Rome, chap, ii., London, Sonnenschein, 1900.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
of Samaria at the well ; Peter's denial ; and Peter receiv-
ing the keys. The partitions were made with slabs of
pavonazzetto, marked, I., II., III., IV., IIIIL, IIIIII. Each
compartment contained a thin layer of ashes and splinters
of bones. The nature of the contents was explained by
two lead labels inscribed with the following words : " In
these seven ' loculi ' have been laid to rest the bones and
ashes of the seven holy brothers the Maccabees, of their
father and mother, and of innumerable other saints."
These two labels date from the twelfth or thirteenth cen-
tury. In announcing this discovery in the " Bulletino di
archeologia di Cristiana," 1876, p. 73, the late Comm. de
Rossi said that it required maturer and closer investiga-
tion. Needless to say that the results of his critical inquiry
have never been made known.
The Jewish colony on the banks of the Tiber was already
The sarcophagus of the Maccabees.
flourishing at the time of Pompey the Great. Their pre-
sence annoyed Cicero. " You know what is their num-
ber," he says, in " Pro Flacco," xxviii., " their union, the
power of their assemblies. I will speak low, therefore, to
be heard only by the judges." The phrase is purely orator-
ical, but it bears testimony as to the importance and influ-
ence of the Ghetto of those days. Many Jews had been
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 217
brought back by Pompey as prisoners of war ; and after
their bonds of slavery were loosed by Julius Caesar, they
were allowed to form a separate caste, that of the Libertini,
a humble but powerful one. The Libertini are mentioned
in The Acts vi. 9, as forming a congregation of their own
in Jerusalem (r) crvvaycayr) rj Xeyo/xeVrj AiySepriVw*'), and
probably in the following electoral bill discovered at Pom-
peii, September 1, 1764 :
&D(ilem) FABIUS EUPOR PRINCEPS LIBERTINORUM (rogat)
De Rossi claims that this Fabius Eupor, who took such
a lively interest in the election of Pansa to the a3dileship,
was but the rabbi of the local Pompeian synagogue ; but
his opinion is not shared by the editor of vol. iv. of the
" Corpus Inscr. Lat." p. 13, n. 117, nor by Mommsen in
" Rhein. Mus." 1864, p. 456.
In Rome the Jews were met haunting the poorer quar-
ters, selling matches, collecting old hats, shoes, and gar-
ments, hawking small articles of wear, begging for charity,
teaching their children to do the same, and accepting some-
times broken glass instead of pennies. And when the
foundations of a modest fortune were laid, they would turn
usurers and money-lenders, as graphically described by
Juvenal. The murder of Caesar, who had made them free-
men, was mourned by them as a national calamity. " In the
general consternation of the city," Suetonius relates, "all
the foreign colonies expressed their grief ; the most demon-
strative being the Jews, who did not leave the Dictator's
pyre even at night."
Augustus, the founder of the Empire, was merciful to
the Jews, who showed themselves loyal subjects, and abid-
ing by the Roman laws, to the protection of which they
often appealed, as The Acts certify. Their community was
218 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
numerous. Philon pretends that eight thousand Jews sup-
ported or were ready to support his remonstrances to Cali-
gula ; but he, like all other Hebrew annalists, has a ten-
dency to exaggerate the importance of the race. The
colony was deeply attached to the mother country ; and
every year a rich present was sent from Rome to the temple
of Zion. The Jews had their synagogues, their schools,
their literature, their poetry, their special quarters, their
cemeteries ; yet they possessed no moral or political influ-
ence. In the eyes of the Romans they did not differ from
the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Cappadocians, and other
strangers, whom trading interests had attracted to the banks
of the Tiber.
Tiberius did not share the feelings of tolerance of
his predecessor ; he determined to exterminate the colony,
pushed to it probably by Sejanus, who excited and favored
all the bad instincts of his master, hoping to make him
more odious and insufferable to his subjects. After the
death of the infamous adviser, Tiberius returned to a wiser
policy ; the surviving Jews, set free from their confinement
in Sardinia, hastened back to the invincible attractions of
Caligula's bosom friend was the Jew Agrippa, belonging
to the family of Herod, who had followed the fortunes of
Drusus the younger. He was a frivolous and dissipated
young man, who had just run the risk of losing his life in
the persecution of Tiberius ; he was perhaps the only repre-
sentative of his race devoted to Caligula ; the race itself
was restive, and the statue of the young Emperor at Jeru-
salem found no worshipers. He revenged himself in two
ways : first by proclaiming Agrippa King of the Jews, a
step which gave rise to the greatest consternation in Juda,
and then by offering to Philon and his co-ambassadors
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 219
from Alexandria the grotesque reception of which the im-
perial gardens on the Esquiline, called the Horti Lamiani r
were the scene.
These beautiful gardens were largely excavated under my
HOR i:- -
Here ttvt group of tfi* Nu>6t<4ei , now in
x. Uffi.rc.Flortn.ct,. WAS fotmoL in 1583.
Plan of the Lamian Gardens.
own supervision between 1873 and 1876, and they yielded
the richest archaeological harvest we have ever been able
to gather in Rome from a single spot since 1870. They
220 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
were an enchanted, fairy -like place, extending over the
highest plateau of the Esquiline, from which such a glo-
rious view is obtained of the Alban, the Praenestinian, and
the Sabine hills. The Casino, where the Jews were re-
ceived, contained apartments two stories high, with windows
having panes of translucent marble instead of glass. The
halls were so large that a portrait of Nero one hundred
and twenty feet high (35.64 metres) could be painted in
one of them. The huge canvas, twice as large as the main-
sail of a frigate, was set on fire by lightning, together with
the Casino. " Pictura accensa fulmine cum optima horto-
rum parte conflagravit." I have myself seen a gallery
two hundred and seventy-six feet long, the pavement of
which was inlaid with the rarest and costliest specimens
of alabastrine-agate, 2 while the ceiling was supported by
twenty-four fluted columns of giallo antico resting on gilt
bases ; I have seen another apartment paved with large
slabs of occhio di pavone, 3 the walls of which were pan-
elled with crusts of black slate covered with graceful ara-
besques in gold-leaf. I have seen a third hall with the
floor made of segments of alabaster, framed in green
enamel, around the walls of which were jets of water, four
feet apart, which must have crossed each other in various
ways, and under striking plays of light. All these things
were found in November, 1875.
On Christmas eve of the preceding year, while our men
1 Pliny, Hist. nat. xxxv. 7, 33.
2 A section of this pavement was removed to the Gabinetto delle Meda-
glie in the Palazzo dei Conservator!. Two of the columns have been placed
in the passage leading from the Rotunda of the same palace to the Sala delle
3 The occhio di pavone is a conglomerate of round shells of the species called
Anomia ampulla, of various hues, the rarest being the pavonazzo or purplish,
of which there are two magnificent columns in the Vatican library.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 221
were excavating the rooms at the corner of the Via Foscolo
and the Via Emmanuele Filiberto, at the north end of the
gallery mentioned above, the ground gave way, giving us
access to a crypt or cellar on the floor of which we found
One of the tritons discovered December 24, 1874, near the
northern end of the gallery in the Lamian Gardens.
lying the celebrated bust of Commodus in the character of
Hercules, flanked by two tritons or marine centaurs and
two statues representing either two maiden daughters of
Danaos (according to Helbig) or the Muses Terpsichore
and Polyhymnia (according to Visconti). There were also
the Venus Lamiana, called by Helbig " a girl binding
a fillet round her head " (see illustration, page 223) ; a
222 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
portrait head of young Commodus ; a head of Diana ; a
Bacchus of semi-colossal size, with drapery of gilt bronze
(missing) ; and about twenty-five legs, arms, hands, and feet
belonging to statues whose bronze drapery had likewise
been stolen before the concealment.
As regards the furniture of this delightful palace, I find
in the " Bullettino Comunale " of 1879, p. 251, the follow-
ing description of a piece discovered in September of the
same year at the corner of the Via Buonarroti and the Piazza
Vittorio Emmanuele, eighty or ninety yards from the room
in which the statues were found : " It is not possible to
ascertain the exact shape of this extraordinary piece of fur-
niture, which had the frame of hard wood, encrusted with
gilt metal, and studded with precious stones. Considering,
however, that the piece was supported by four legs exqui-
sitely cut in rock-crystal, connected by horizontal bands en-
crusted with gilt festoons and bulls' heads like a frieze, we
are led to think it either a state chair or throne, or a state
bedstead. One hundred fragments of the brass work, as
well as four hundred and thirty precious stones, with which
it was studded, have been recovered. There are carnelians,
agates, chrysolites, topazes, lapis lazuli, amethysts, garnets,
all plain ; five engraved gems representing the rape of Eu-
ropa, Venus, a lion, a butterfly, a male bust ; and a ' pasta
vitrea,' with two heads, probably of Septimius Severus and
his Empress Julia Domna. One hundred and sixty-eight
fragments of thin crusts of agate were also found in the same
room, but we could not decide whether they belonged to the
same bedstead or to the veneering of the room itself." If
we recall to mind that from these same imperial Lamian gar-
dens come such world-renowned masterpieces as the Belve-
dere Meleager, the Niobides, and the two Athletes, now in
the Galleria degli Uffizi ; the Nozze Aldobrandini, now in the
THE VENUS LAMIANA
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 225
Vatican Library ; the Discobolos of Myron, in the Lancellotti
Palace ; the Dancing Women, in the Museo Chiaramonti ; the
Hercules, removed to England by Colonel Campbell, and
many other famous marbles, "we may get an approximate
idea of what a Roman garden must have been in the palmy
days of the Empire, and of the wonders which met the gaze
of the Jewish ambassadors on the day of their grotesque
official reception by Caligula.
The Lamian gardens acquired fresh notoriety in 1620,
when they became the property of the Marchesi di Palom-
bara and the scene of their mysterious meetings with Chris-
tina, Queen of Sweden, then engaged in the follies of necro-
mancy, and in the search for the philosopher's stone and
perpetual motion. Contemporary chronicles relate * how
the queen, having taken up her abode in Rome in 1655, set
up a laboratory for experimenting in occult sciences, with
the help of the most distinguished alchemists of the age.
One day a youth from beyond the mountains presented
himself before the queen, and asked permission to work in
her laboratory, in order to investigate the manner of mak-
ing gold. Having obtained this, he presented himself
again to the queen, after a few days, telling her that he
had need of going in search of a certain herb, in order to
complete the operation, and entreating her to grant him
a hiding-place in which to deposit during his absence two
vases of a liquor which, mixed with the herb, would become
gold. He wished also that this secret place should be
locked with two keys, of different form, one to be kept
by the queen, the other by himself. Having obtained his
request, he departed.
Some time elapsed, and no tidings being received concern-
1 The best account by Francesco Cancellieri in his pamphlet, Sopra la statua
del Discobolo scoperta nella villa Palombara, Ronia, 1806, p. 42, n. 2.
226 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
ing him, the queen, irritated at being thus deluded, caused
the hiding-place to be opened by force, and found the liquor
solidified into gold in one vase and into silver in the other.
Among those who frequented the salons of Christina,
was the Marquis Massimiliano Palombara, Conservator of
Rome for the years 1651 and 1677, and a famous alchemist.
Having heard of this incident, he took the queen severely
to task for having allowed such a master in this art to
escape without revealing his secret.
The marquis was then occupying his Esquiline villa,
where, one morning in 1680, he saw an unknown person
enter the gate on the side of the Via Merulana, and ex-
amine attentively the ground, apparently looking for some
mysterious plant. Surprised by the servants, the pilgrim
declared that he was in search of an herb of marvellous
virtue, and that, knowing how much interested the proprie-
tor of the villa was in the art of making gold, he wished
to demonstrate to him that the work, though difficult, was
It is easy to imagine how eagerly the marquis welcomed
him, and how anxiously he watched his proceedings. The
pilgrim crisped and pulverized the herb gathered in the
garden, threw it into the crucible, which was full of a mys-
terious liquor, and promised his host that on the next morn-
ing not only would the process be completed, but the secret
should be revealed to him.
When the morning came and nothing was seen of the
pilgrim, the marquis, fearing that something had happened
to him, forced open the door of his room, but neither here
nor in the adjoining laboratory were there any signs of
him. The guest had, however, liberally kept his promise,
for not only from the broken crucible had flowed upon the
pavement a long stream of the purest gold, but on the
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 227
table lay a roll of parchment, upon which were traced and
written various enigmas, which, says Cancellieri, no one has
been able up to this time to explain, nor ever will.
The Marquis Palombara caused a memorial of the mys-
terious pilgrim, and the recipes left by him for the manu-
facture of gold, to be cut in marble and exposed to the eyes
of the public. One of the recipes says : " Si feceris volare
terrain super caput tuurn, eius pennis aquas torrentum con-
vertes in petram " (If thou wilt make earth fly over thine
head, thou canst convert the waters of a torrent into stone).
Some contain precepts of secret and profound wisdom,
like : " Si sedes, non is ! " (If thou sittest, thou advancest
not) ; or else : " Quando in tua domo nigri corvi parturiant
albas columbas tune vocaberis sapiens " (When in thine
house black crows bring forth white doves, then thou shalt
be called wise). Others are an absurd play upon words :
" Aqua, a-qua horti irrigantur, non est aqua a-qua horti
aluntur," which baffles interpretation. The only sentence
adapted to all times is : " Hodie pecunia emitur spuria nobil-
itas, sed non legitima sapientia " (You can purchase with
your wealth a spurious nobility, but not true wisdom).
All these absurdities were actually engraved on the mar-
ble posts and lintel of one of the gates of the villa, hence
called the Magic Gate. I remember having seen this curi-
ous document of human idiosyncrasy in my youth, on the
right side of the road which then led from S. Maria Mag-
giore to S. Croce in Gerusalemme, nearly opposite the ruin
called the Trophies of Marias. The door was covered with
strange symbols in Latin and Hebrew letters, and astro-
nomical and cabalistic signs of obscure signification ; and
every week, when the time for playing the Lotto was near-
ing, the Magic Gate witnessed an assembly of aged and
filthy beggars, trying to get the key to the meaning of the
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
signs, and secure a good " estrazione " from the wheel of
fortune. 1 It is astonishing to think how the Church authori-
ties could have left this gate standing and claiming such
The Magic Gate of the Palorabara Gardens, now in the Piazza
Vittorio Emmanuele on the Esquiline.
a share of popular wonderment, when the august names of
the Trinity, the Blessed Virgin, and the Saviour were mixed
up with profane and cabalistic formulas.
1 The public lottery is drawn every Saturday at two o'clock, five num-
bers being drawn from the wheel, which contains ninety in all.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN HOME.
The gate was removed from its place in 1876 and set up
again in the square or garden of the Piazza Vittorio Em-
manuele, which occupies part of the old Lamian-Palombara
Three other monuments of classic Rome besides the
Lamian gardens refer to the Jews : the Arch of Titus on
The Arch of Titus before its restoration.
the Summa Sacra Via, the triumphal gate of the Circus
Maximus, and the Temple and Forum of Peace. There
were also a Jewish quarter, and Jewish schools, and many
synagogues and catacombs.
230 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The Arch of Titus, on the top of the ridge which sepa-
rates the hollow of the Forum from that of the Coliseum, is
a monument too well known to require a special notice. It
was erected after the death and the deification of the con-
queror of Jerusalem. Its interest centres in the high relief
of the right pier (on the side of the Palatine) on which the
spoils from the temple of Zion are represented. These are
carried by the victorious soldiers guarding the prisoners of
war, all of whom wear crowns of laurel, because even the
conquered warriors were compelled to rejoice, at least in
appearance, in their own defeat, though their hands are
tied behind their backs. The principal trophies of war are
the golden table with some of the sacred vessels, the silver
trumpets, the ark of the covenant, and the seven-branched
candlestick. According to Flavius Josephus these objects
were not the original ones, but imitations, or, as it were,
emblems of the Jewish defeat, as shown by the fact that
the candelabra shows curved branches, instead of branches
bent at right angles like those of a trident. Describing
the incidents of the triumph of Titus in "Jewish War," vii.
17, Flavius Josephus remarks : " The spoils taken from the
temple of Jerusalem had the place of honor among the tro-
phies of war : there was the golden table weighing several
talents and the golden candlestick, which, however, differed
considerably in shape from the one in use among us, which
is formed of a central support standing on a base, and
seven branches bent at right angles like a seven-pronged
trident." The last objects carried in the triumphal proces-
sion were the Tables of the Law.
There is an incident in the history of this arch but little
known to students. The Frangipani, having raised their
great Turris Chartularia, or " Tower of the Records," on the
platform of the temple of Jupiter Stator, close by the arch,
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
had made use of the latter for the main gateway of their
stronghold, crowning it with battlements and turrets. No
wonder that the weight of these superstructures should have
impaired the stability of the arch. And when the architect
Valadier was commissioned in 1822 by Pope Pius VII. to
demolish the superstructures and restore the monument to its
former shape, he began by taking most careful drawings of
the joints of the blocks of Pentelic marble, and by marking
them with cross-marks ; he then removed such parts as had
been disjointed or put out of place or out of the per-
pendicular, strengthened the foundations, rebuilt the arch,
completing the missing parts in plain travertine, and left us
the most judicious, the cleverest, and the most laudable
specimen of a monumental restoration that could be desired.
The same process had been followed in 1811 by the
architect Camporese in pulling down the temple of Vespa-
sian on the Clivus Capitolinus, the columns of which leaned
out of the perpendicular by half a diameter, and replacing
them straight on more solid foundations. Those, however,
were happy days in which sovereigns and governments
trusted to men of genius who had won their confidence,
and this confidence was not shaken by criticisms of envious
rivals or by adverse comments of the press. Should we try
the experiment nowadays, we should meet with a different
fate, as shown by the following incident, which took place
lately in the Forum.
On the southwestern side of this celebrated place, bor-
dering on the Sacra Via, stand eight square pedestals of
monumental columns, the shafts of which, varying in size
and quality, are lying close by. Describing these pillars
in " Ruins and Excavations," p. 258, I had incidentally
remarked that if they were raised once more on their ped-
estals the picturesqueness and the interest of the Forum
232 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
would be greatly enhanced. The scheme was partially
carried out in February, 1899, when the first and second
columns, counting from the south, were set up again on
their original bases. This simple and matter-of-fact process
was proclaimed by the usual critics a " groundless restora-
tion." Deputations waited on the minister to offer their
remonstrances, meetings were held, protests sent to the
leading papers, and yet there is not a shade of doubt that
the two shafts belong to the individual pedestals upon
which they have been replaced. Both were discovered in
my presence in 1872. The first, of gray granite, once cov-
ered with ornaments of gilt bronze, lay broken in seven
pieces, partly on the pavement of the Sacra Via, partly on
the stone " margo " of the Forum. The lower half of the
second was still lying as it fell, in a slanting position, with
the lower end almost level with the top of the pedestal,
the upper end nearly touching the Sacra Via. This state
of things is shown not only by contemporary photographs,
but also by a sketch made by another eye-witness, the late
Professor Heinrich Jordan, of Konigsberg, who published
it on p. 260 of the third volume (1879) of the " Ephe-
The conquest of Judaea and the capture of Jerusalem
were commemorated on another monument of classic Rome,
the arch at the curved end of the Circus Maximus called
the Porta Triumphalis because the winning chariots left
the arena through it. Here the so-called Anonymus of
Einsiedeln saw, many centuries ago, the original inscrip-
tion containing the following words : " The Senate and the
people of Rome [dedicate this arch] to Titus, son of Ves-
pasian [in the year 81 A. D.], because, acting on the advice
and under the auspices of his father, he has conquered the
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 233
nation of the Jews, and has taken by assault and destroyed
the city of Jerusalem, a success which no leader of armies
has been able to achieve before." Arch and inscription
have long since disappeared.
The third monument connected with the same events is
The monumental columns on the Sacra Via.
the Temple and Forum of Peace, dedicated by Vespasian
five years after the fall of Jerusalem, A. D. 75. Josephus
(" Jewish War," vii. 5) says : " After the celebration of
the triumph, and the establishment of the Roman rule in
Judea, Vespasian determined to raise a monument to Peace,
which was brought to completion sooner and better than is
generally the case with such great undertakings. ... In
this sacred enclosure were collected and exhibited number-
less art treasures, to see which men are ready to come from
all quarters of the earth, and among these the objects of
234 JEWISH ME MORI AS IN ROME.
gold (xpva-a /caracr/cevacr^aTa) which had been found in
the temple of the Jews. The Tables of the Law, and the
purple Veils were at the same time deposited by Vespa-
sian's order in the imperial palace (eV rot? /SacnAei'oi?)."
The art gallery of the Temple of Peace included, among
other masterpieces, the celebrated lalysus by Protogenes,
the Scylla by Nicomachus, the Hero by Parrhasius ; and,
among the works of the chisel, a set of athletic statues from
Olympia and Argos ; the Ganymedes by Leochares ; a group
of the Nile surrounded by the sixteen infants, cut out of a
single block of reddish basalt ; an exquisite statue of Venus
by an unknown artist ; a bronze by Boethus, representing
a boy strangling a goose ; and the celebrated Cow of Myron,
praised by Cicero, Ovid, and Pliny, to which not less than
thirty-six epigrams of the Anthology are dedicated. The
Bibliotheca Pacis, attached to the temple, is mentioned more
than once by Aulus Gellius, who says it contained books
(for instance, the commentaries of Lselius, the master of
Varro, and the letters of Asinius Capito) that could not be
found anywhere else. There were, in the last place, vaults
and safes in which private citizens could store and deposit
their valuables. All these treasures except the sacred
vessels of the Jews, which were perhaps kept in a fire-proof
compartment perished in the memorable fire of Commo-
dus, A. D. 191, vivid descriptions of which are given by
Galen, Dion Cassius, and Herodianus. Galen complains
of the loss of the first two books of his Treatise, the ori-
ginal manuscript of which he had inadvertently left in
his office on the Sacra Via. The office was burnt to the
ground together with the great libraries of Peace and of
the imperial palace. Dion Cassius says that the fire origi-
nated in the middle of the night in a private dwelling, and
that after devastating the Forum and Temple of Peace,
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 237
destroyed the Horrea Piperataria, that is, the shops where
the drugs and merchandise from Egypt and Arabia were
stored, which I have already described in Chapter II. The
vigiles and the pratorians, led by the Emperor himself, did
not get control of the flames until the whole quarter was
turned into a heap of smouldering ruins.
Herodianus, another contemporary historian (A. D. 180
238), is inclined to give to the conflagration an almost
supernatural cause, and mentions at the same time a shock
of earthquake, a thunderbolt, and flames bursting out of
the earth. He calls the temple and its surroundings TO
p,ey HJTOV KCU K.d\\icrTov, " the greatest and most beautiful "
building of imperial Rome. Its destruction affected morally
and materially every class of citizens, on account of the
art treasures which no expenditure could ever replace, and
of the valuables and personal securities which had been
consumed with the safes.
After a lapse of eighteen hundred and nine years, the
traces of the fire of Commodus are still visible within and
near the sacred enclosure of Peace, and on the line of the
Sacra Via, where Galen's office and consulting rooms stood
among the stores of Eastern goods. These traces appear at
the Templum Saera3 Urbis (SS. Cosma e Damiano) in the
brick restorations made by Septimius Severus in the old
stone building ; they appear also in the ruins of the Hor-
rea Piperataria, over which the Basilica of Constantine was
afterwards built ; and lastly in the line of houses and stores
bordering on the Sacra Via, which have been quite lately
reexhumed, giving us a vivid picture of that scene of deso-
Archaeologists and historians disagree as regards the
fate of the Forum and the Temple of Peace after the fire.
238 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Nibby 1 and Canina contend that they never rose from their
ashes ; I cannot see on what ground, as we find the place
constantly mentioned in the following centuries. The bio-
grapher of the Thirty Tyrants speaks of it in the Life of
Victoria, chap. xxxi. The imperial almanac of the time
of Constantine mentions it as giving its name to the fourth
ward of the City. When the Emperor Constantius visited
Rome in 357, he was led to behold among the wonders of
the metropolis " urbis templum, f orumque Pacis, et Pompeii
theatrum." ! Symmachus speaks of having entered the
forum, in the seventy-eighth letter of the tenth book. De
Rossi has discovered in the library of St. Gall certain frag-
ments of the Chronicle of Horosius, giving an account of
all the wonderful and fearful events which marked the
decline and fall of Rome from the fourth to the sixth cen-
tury. One of these records says : "In the year 408, under
the consulship of Bassus and Philippus, underground rum-
blings were heard in the Forum of Peace for seven days."
I believe the true solution of the case is to be found in the
following passage of Procopius (Goth. iv. 21 ): "A drove
of oxen was led through the forum which the Romans call
of Peace, from a great temple which lies there in ruins, hav-
ing been struck by lightning in the old times." Procopius
therefore makes a distinction between the temple, which
had never been rebuilt since the fire of Commodus, and the
forum, which had either escaped uninjured, or had been
thoroughly restored. We know, for one thing, that two, at
least, of the masterpieces, the Cow of Myron and the Gany-
mede of Leochares, were still to be seen in the forum at the
time of the Gothic wars, long after the pillages of Alaric,
1 Del tempio delta Pace e della basilica di Constantino ; Dissertazione di A.
Nibby. Roma, de Romanis, 1819. Compare Becker, Topographie, p. 440.
2 Ammianus Marcellinus, xvi. 10.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 239
A. D. 410, of Genseric, A. D. 455, of Ricimer, A. D. 472, etc.
For the bronze Cow we have the authority of Procopius
himself (i. 120) ; as to the Ganymede of Leochares, we
know that the pedestal upon which this celebrated work
of art stood was discovered in the Forum of Peace towards
The Ganymede of Leochares, a late replica discovered
the middle of the fifteenth century. This pedestal is now
preserved in the Galleria degli Uffizi. Ligorio, who wit-
nessed the find, saw also a piece of the marble group, repre-
240 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
senting the eagle carrying off the beautiful youth to Olym-
pus. Considering, however, that the original group had
not been chiselled in marble by Leochares, but cast in
bronze, we infer that the bronze had perished in the great
conflagration and a marble copy had been substituted in its
place. The cut on page 239 represents another copy of
the group, discovered at Fallerone (Faleria) in the province
of Ancona, and placed in the Galleria dei Candelabri in the
time of Pius VI.
It seems hardly possible that the golden vessels from the
Temple of Zion, placed in the Temple of Peace among other
trophies of war, should have escaped the effects of the fire,
the suddenness and violence of which were such that not
even the state archives kept in the adjoining fire-proof
building (the Templum Sacrse Urbis, now SS. Cosma e Da-
miano) could be saved from destruction; and yet there
seems to be little doubt on the point.
According to Procopius the Jewish spoils were carried off
by King Alaric when Rome was looted in August, 410, and
tradition adds that when Alaric died in southern Italy,
near the city of Cosenza, his followers buried him and his
treasures in the bed of the river Busentinus, first diverting
the course of the waters, and then letting them flow again
over the tomb. The tradition is probably a new and re-
vised edition of the true story of Decebalus, king of the
Dacians, which I have already related in " Ancient Rome,"
p. 391. According to another version, the golden spoils
either escaped detection at the time of Alaric or else were
only partially looted. The man into whose hands they ulti-
mately fell was Genseric, who stormed Rome in June,
455, at the head of a powerful army of Vandals, with whom
were mixed Bedouins and Moors. Genseric appears to
have devoted himself mainly to the plunder of the temple
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 241
of Jupiter Capitolinus ; its statues were carried off to adorn
the residence of the Vandal kings at Carthage, and the
roof was stripped of its tiles of gilt bronze. That portion
of the Jewish spoils which had been overlooked by Alaric
in 410 was apparently landed in safety at Carthage. Here
it was discovered eighty years later by Belisarius, the By-
zantine general, and hence it was removed to Constantino-
ple, where it was offered as a present to the Emperor Jus-
tinian. Justinian sent it as a pious offering to the church
of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, whence it was carried
away in 614 by the Persian conqueror Chosroes.
Whichever of these versions deserves credit, or whether
neither one of them is worthy of it, the Tiber is at all
events out of the question. The tradition that the seven-
branched candlestick was thrown into its muddy bed is very
old, and the writers of the Talmud, to make it lie in a
more decent place, state that the bottom of the river be-
tween Rome and Ostia is paved with sheets of solid metal,
stolen from Palestine by the emperors. President Charles
de Brosses, in one of his " Lettres sur 1'Italie," relates that
under Pope Benedict XIV. (1740-1758) the Jews asked per-
mission to drain the river at their own expense, provided
they could get undisturbed possession of the treasures which
their undertaking might eventually bring to light. Ac-
cording to the same writer the Pope withheld his consent
for fear that the stirring up of the mud and silt of the river
would generate the plague. Dignum patella operculum !
The simple-minded president did not perceive that his cice-
rone was taking advantage of his good faith.
The Ghetto of classic Rome was on the right bank of
the Tiber, among the slums of the Trastevere. In the
early days of the City, the region between the river and the
Janiculum was made so unhealthy by sluggish streams and
242 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
pools of stagnant water that it was chosen by the Senate
as the place of relegation for prisoners of war whom they
wished to destroy. Here were led the inhabitants of Tel-
lene, Ficana, and Medullia after the capture of their villages,
and also the leading citizens of Capua, who had sided with
Hannibal. If many of their number perished, many also
lived to form in progress of time a poor and unhealthy but
populous quarter. Boatmen, lightermen, tanners, dyers,
scavengers, carriers joined the original settlers, together
with beggars and vagabonds, and that shady class of stran-
gers who flock to the great cities in quest of fortune or
The first Jew colonists, driven from their native land by
poverty or brought as slaves behind the chariots of Roman
conquerors, took refuge in this wretched district, where the
Syrians, their neighbors, had preceded them, and where
they felt at home among a crowd of pariahs. Juvenal de-
scribes another small Jewish centre, just outside the Porta
Capena, in the neighborhood of the sacred grove of Egeria,
their furniture being restricted to a basket suspended from
a tree and a bundle of straw.
Yet some, if not many, of the Jewish immigrants be-
came wealthy, rose in the scale of society, and, leaving the
abject home of their coreligionaries in the Trastevere,
settled in the most fashionable streets of the City, where
they could make a loud display of their wealth, and built
their family mausolea in the aristocratic cemeteries of the
Via Appia and the Via Latina. Of this practice we have
a curious but little known piece of evidence, in a sarco-
phagus now preserved in the court of the Palazzo Spada
among other relics discovered by Cardinal Girolamo Spada-
Veralli when he restored the church of S. Agnese fuori le
Mura after the pillage of 1527. According to the inscrip-
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
tion, engraved in a style characteristic of the Severian
age, the sarcophagus belonged to a Jewish lady of rank,
named Julia Irene Arista, mother of Atronius Tullianus
Eusebius, senator of the empire, " vir clarissimus." The
pious lady, faithful to the law of God (juste legem colens),
after having been delivered from a mortal illness, " Dei
virtute et fide mea nobis conservata," lived happily to a
green old age, and was buried in the fashionable cemetery
** m -:,:~*!&&*~**^" _...--- . ^, * ILJiiit- tr J
The Trastevere in the middle ages', from a sketch now in the library of the Escurial.
of the Via Nomentana, where probably she and her son
owned property. The interest of this remarkable document
centres in the title of " vir clarissimus " claimed by the
son, of which no other example is to be found in Roman
epigraphy : an explanation, however, of this singularity
is to be found in the following passage of Ulpianus, " De
Officio Proconsulis " : l " Septimius Severus and his son
Caracalla allowed the adepts of the Jewish superstition to
reach the highest honors and offices."
1 Pandect, De decurionibus , leg. 3 d.
244 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The headquarters of the Jews remained, nevertheless,
in the Transtiberine district, in the vicinity of the harbor,
where vast numbers of Greek, Syrian, Alexandrine, and
Carthaginian ships were always moored, allowing them to
carry on a brisk trade with the motley crews. 1 Here also
were their best schools, their law-courts (Bath-Dim), and the
central synagogue where the banished sons of Abraham
might behold a good yet deceptive reproduction of the sanc-
tuary of Zion.
Nine other synagogues are mentioned in connection with
other quarters of the City, viz., those of the Augustans, of
the Agrippans 2 of the Campus, of the Campus and Vo-
lumnus, of the Subura, of Eleia, of the lime-burners, of the
Rhodians, and of the harbor of Rome (Portus Augusti).
Their rabbis were called " gerusiarchi," or " archontes,"
or " archisynagogi." We find also among their dignitaries
several "fathers and mothers of the synagogue," and
scribes, and patrons, and readers of the law.
The best known of the Jewish suburban cemeteries is
the one discovered by Antonio Bosio in the hills of Monte
Verde, not far from the present railway station by the
Porta Portese. This Columbus of underground Rome ex-
plored the long-forgotten crypts on December 14 of the
year 1602, and attributed them to the Jewish Transtiberine
community on account of the seven-branched candle-
stick, and of the formula, " Here rests in peace," by which
the tombstones were distinguished. Bosio did not carry
his exploration very far, probably on account of the crum-
bling and dangerous state of the crypts. Bianchini, the
1 The Jews themselves did occasionally take to the sea. Several proscinema
by Jewish sailors have been found engraved on the rocks of the little harbor
of Grammata in the island of Syra.
2 King Herod had given the same names of Augustus and Agrippa to two
wings of his palace. See Josephus, Antiq. xv. 9, 3.
CHAIR IN THE SYNAGOGUE OF MODERN ROME
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
great archaeological explorer, claims to have entered the
same place in the first quarter of the last century. 1 Gaetano
Migliore, who followed at a later period Bianchini's foot-
steps, says : " I could not advance very far on account of the
falling stones, yet I saw with my own eyes cubicula, arcoso-
lia, loculi, all utterly devastated, and also, I believe, scattered
pieces of Jewish emblems. I did my best to enter the
deepest recesses of this old burial-place, but I was obliged
to retire because the very sound of my footsteps seemed to
hasten the fall of the crumbling rocks." Since Migliore's
attempt no one has entered the place ; Padre Marchi tried
to rediscover its entrance in 1843, but without success. In
1892 I watched for weeks and weeks the attempts of a
man a painter by profession to cut a passage through
the layer of loose earth at a spot which had been pointed
out to him by an old gardener as the entrance to a " sub-
terranean palace." That man had actually cut with his
own hands a gallery four feet high and fifteen feet long,
when he was compelled to abandon the attempt. I cannot
tell whether the rock-cut door which he had reached led
to the long-lost Jewish catacomb, or to a Christian one, be-
cause the fragments of inscriptions found in the loose earth
bore no characteristic religious symbols ; but I am rather
inclined to think the latter, because, if we believe what
Fioravante Martinelli says in his " Roma ricercata," p. 20,
the crypts seen by Bosio were destroyed at the tune of
Urban VIII., when the new line of city walls was raised on
the ridge of the Janiculum. At all events, this ridge is
so honeycombed with catacombs that it is difficult to single
them out and ascertain their origin. Sixteen years after
his first discovery, Bosio found a second catacomb in the
1 Delle porte Romane, p. 70.
2 Cod. Vatic. 9143.
248 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
same spur of the hill. Benjamin of Tudela must refer to
one of these places of entombment when he describes a
cave near the Tiber containing- the tomb of the " ten mar-
tyrs of the kingdom," that is, of the ten Hebrews, preachers
of the Mishna, who had given their life for their faith. 1
The whole district outside the Porta Portese has retained
its connection with the Ghetto of ancient Rome up to
our own days, the plain between the Via Portuense and
the foot of the hills being called " Ortaccio degli Ebrei,"
just as in by-gone times it bore the name of " Campus
ludseorum " or " Contrata Hebreorum." The construction
of the new railway station has altered the whole aspect of
Other cemeteries have been discovered on the Via Appia
and the Via Labicana, the best of all being the one first
entered on May 1, 1859, in the Vigna Randanini, oppo-
site the church of S. Sebastiano. It is still open to visitors.
The one found in 1867 on the same road in the vineyard of
Count Cimarra is briefly described by de Rossi, " Bullettino
di archeologia cristiana," 1867, n. 1. Its inscriptions have
never been published in full. Those found in 1883 on the
Via Labicana, and in 1885 on the Via Appia Pignattelli
have been illustrated respectively by Marucchi and Miiller.
From their tombstones we gather that some of the Roman
Jews kept their own or gave to their children Biblical
names slightly Latinized, such as Aster (Esther), Gadia
(Gaddi), lonata, Semoel, Sarah, Lea, etc. Others adopted
Greek or Latin names, borrowing the " gentilicium " from
patrician families or individuals, to whom probably they
had lent money, or rendered service for a consideration.
1 Basnage de Beauval, Histoire des Juifs, La Have, 1716. The vineyard in
which Bosio made his discoveries belonged in 1602 to the Ruffini family, and
later on to Muzio Vitozzi. See Armellini, Cronichetta Mensile, 1879, p. 27.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The Jewish cemetery at the Circus Maximus as seen from the Aventine.
Thus we find two ^Elii, one ^Emilia, and several Flavii,
although this last was the family name of the two hated
conquerors of Juda3a, Vespasian and Titus. Still more
remarkable is the occurrence of many pagan and decidedly
profane names, such as Aphrodisia, Asclepiodote, etc.
The head synagogue, mentioned above, is placed by
topographers in the neighborhood of S. Cecilia, because the
adjoining street was known in the middle ages by the name
of "Rua Judseorum." Its precious contents tapestries
woven of gold threads, gold plate, etc. -- were plundered
by the populace at the time of King Theoderic ; but the
Jews repaired the damages soon after.
It does not appear that their Transtiberine quarter had
a fixed boundary like the Ghetto of later times ; but the
spirit of brotherhood which seems innate in the Jewish race
kept them clustered and huddled together around their
250 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
temple. It was only after the pillage of Rome by Robert
Guiscard, in 1084, that they migrated, with their neighbors
the tanners, to the opposite bank of the Tiber, 1 and settled
among the remains of the Porticus Octavise, the Porti-
ons Philippi, and the Theatre of Marcellus, not far from
the Pabrician bridge, which was henceforth named " Pons
Judeorum." They continued, however, to bury their dead
in the old Ortaccio near S. Francesco a Ripa, until they
obtained from the City another " field of death " among the
ruins of the Circus Maximus under S. Prisca. This last
cemetery is still in existence. (See cut on page 249.)
The Jews were not many at the time of this migration.
Benjamin of Tudela, who visited Rome in 1165, says : " My
fellow-worshippers number about two hundred, all honest
men, independent, paying tribute to nobody. Some hold
important offices in the court of Pope Alexander III. [1159-
1181], like David Magnus, and R. Jechiel, B. Abraham, a
bright and courteous youth, who is intendant of the Pope's
household." One of the squares of the Rione Regola,
destroyed in 1887 to make room for the new Via Arenula,
was called Piazza dei Branca, from the illustrious Jewish
family of that name the Branca di Clausura which
flourished in the fourteenth century. The most famous
and powerful Roman family of the middle ages, the pillar
of the Church, the representative of the Pope's judicial
power, the warder of the Pope's state prison, the Pier-
leoni, were also of Jewish extraction. The grandfather of
" Peter son of Leo " (Petrus Leonis, Pierleone) having lent
to and gained large sums of money from the Holy See, and
seeing the prospect of larger gains and political influence,
1 The latest record of the residence of the Jews in the Trastevere is to be
found in a deed of 1515 in the state Archives, vol. 1121, p. 291, where the
" Curia Judeorum " is mentioned in the neighborhood of S. Cecilia.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN HOME.
A window of the Pierleoni house, Via di Porta Leone.
abjured the faith of his fathers and was baptized under the
name of Benedictus Christianus, which was that of the
reigning Pope Benedict IX. (1033-1046). His son was
likewise named from the Pope Leo IX. (1049-1055), and his
grandson, the real founder of the Pierleoni dynasty, as-
sumed the name of the Prince of the Apostles. The great-
grandson became the antipope Anacletus II. ! It seems
that this family of medieval Rothschilds, made barons of
the holy Roman empire by their apostolic debtors, were
afflicted for generations with the most pronounced Jewish
features. They could not get rid of a sallow complexion.
252 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
a nose like a hawk's, and curly black hair. Orderic Vitalis
describes one of them, who sat in the Synod of Rheims in
1119, as "nigrum et pallidum adolescentem, magis Judeo
vel Agareno, quam Christiano similem," and Arnulfus also
expatiates on the forbidding Jewish appearance of Anacle-
These feelings of repulsion, however, were not shared
by the fair ladies of the Roman patriciate, to judge from
their anxiety to marry the wealthy sons of Peter. These
had established their headquarters over the remains of the
Theatre of Marcellus, where the Palazzo Orsini now stands,
while their vassals and servants and gens-d'armes oc-
cupied the quarter between the theatre, the Tiber, and the
Forum Boarium, which we still call " quartiere di Porta
Leone," a picturesque cluster of medieval houses and
towers and lanes but little known to tourists.
The island of the Tiber, crowned with towers, one of
which is still to be seen at the west entrance to the Fabri-
cian bridge (Ponte Quattro Capi, Pons Judeorum), served
as tete-de-pont. Pope Urban II., who had made the Pier-
leoni warders of the Castle of S. Angelo, died in their
house " apud sanctum Nicolaum in Carcere," in 1099. The
constant friendship of the Popes, their high connections
by marriage, unlimited wealth, and great political power,
made the world soon forget the humble origin of the fam-
ily. The Frangipane, as representative of the Ghibelline
faction, did not yield to the general feeling ; and their
hatred of the Jewish parvenus, who claimed the leadership
of the Guelph party, more than once caused trouble and
bloodshed within the walls of the City. At last peace was
sealed by marriage and by the common pretense of both
families to kinsmanship as collateral descendants of the
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Tradition says that two Pierleoni migrated to Germany
towards the middle of the fifteenth century, where they
became the head of the Hapsburg family. This story was
credited not only in Rome but also in Austria, until the
emperors of the house of Hapsburg found out that their
alleged relationship with the Pierleoni would make them
seek for their forefathers in the Ghetto of mediaeval Rome.
By a welcome chance of fate we still possess the tombs of
the founder and of the last representative of the great fam-
ily. The founder died on June 2, 1128, and while the
graves of contemporary Popes are all lost, the coffin of the
The tomb of the great Pierleone in the cloisters of St. Paul's.
Hebrew Croesus still lies under the southern wing of the
beautiful cloisters of St. Paul's. It is a marble sarcopha-
gus of the third century, with bas-reliefs representing
Apollo, Marsyas, and the Muses, and a panel inscribed with
the following words :
" May Peter and Paul, to whom you were so faithful, protect you, Peter, son
of Leo, and welcome your soul into the glory of heaven," etc.
254 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Of the last representative of the family, Lucretia, daugh-
ter of Luke, we have a bust and an inscription dated 1582,
in the church of S. Maria della Consolazione. 1 Lucretia pro-
claims herself " the only surviving daughter of the most
noble Roman and Austrian race."
In pursuing a mild and lenient policy towards the sons
of Israel, the Popes followed the advice of the Fathers of
the Church, such as Gregory the Great and Thomas Aqui-
nas ; 2 and besides, they were too often in need of financial
help to lose the good-will of their bankers. In a docu-
ment preserved in Cod. Vatic. 7711, the average amount of
money borrowed from this source is valued at one hundred
and fifty thousand scudi for a period of thirty years. The
Jews themselves borrowed considerable sums from Christian
bankers at four per cent., lending it in turn to more needy
customers at eighteen.
Another reason for their peaceful life in the capital of
the Christian world must be found in their skill in medi-
cine, and in their kindness in treating the poor. Towards
the end of the fourteenth century a doctor named Emman-
uel and his son Angelo rose to such celebrity that the
city council in the plenary sitting of May 8, 1385, granted
special privileges in their favor, " because they are so brave
and merciful in the exercise of the healing art, attending
gratuitously the needy." These privileges were confirmed
in July, 1392, by Boniface IX. in a letter which begins :
" Bonifacius . . . dilecto filio Angdo Manuelis Judei . . .
nato Judeo, medico et familiari nostro salutem ! " Martin
V. and Eugene IV. were attended in their ailments by the
Jew doctor Elihu, Innocent VII. by Elihu Sabbati, Pius II.
by Moses of Rieti. Infessura the Diarist relates how Inno-
1 Second chapel on the right.
2 Gregory's Epist. viii. 25 ; Thomas Aq. Epi*t. 363.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
cent VIII., at the point of death, yielded to the suggestion
of a Jew charlatan to have his blood rejuvenated with the
blood of three boys. The result of the operation was that
the Pope died as well as the three boys, but the charlatan
saved himself by a prompt flight. The ^Esculapius, the
Galen, the Prince of the Jewish medical school in Rome,
was without doubt the Rabbi Samuel Sarfati, of Spanish
extraction, who rose to the much envied position of Pon-
tifical Archiater at the time of Julius II. His wonderful
The Ghetto at the time of Paul V. , from a contemporary engraving.
career has been described by Marini in his " Archiatri
Pontificii," vol. i. p. 290.
Paul IV., Caraffa, in opposition to the policy of his pre-
decessors, put an end, for the time being, to the peaceful
state of the colony. His constitution, cum nimis absur-
256 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
dum, dated July 15, 1555, orders that the Jews must
henceforth live apart from the Christians in a quarter of
their own, to be surrounded by a wall with but one entrance
and one exit. The bishop of Ischia, governor of Rome, en-
forced obedience to the decree so strictly that on the 27th
of the month, that is, twelve days after its promulgation,
the Jews were already immured in their pen. Four Chris-
tian churches which happened to fall within the enclosure
were sacrificed to save them from the unwelcome contact,
S. Lorenzo dei Cavalluzzi (belonging to the Armenians,
who received in exchange the beautiful temple of Fortune
by the Forum Boarium, Christianized under the name of
S. Maria Egiziaca), S. Leonardo de Platea Judeorum, S. Sal-
vatore dei Baroncini, and a fourth dedicated to the un-
heard-of saints Patermuzio and Coppete.
The boundary wall was enlarged from time to time, and
the number of gates increased first to five, later to eight.
The gates were closed at seven o'clock in winter and at eight
in summer. The Mattei family enjoyed the privilege of fur-
nishing the gatekeepers for a yearly remuneration of one
hundred and sixty-three scudi and twenty bajocchi. The
Ghetto was furnished with a slaughter-house (which I have
seen in the place where Prince Orsini now has his stables),
and with bakeries for the azim bread. The bakeries were
located in the lane called after them delle Azimelle, a con-
gested, evil-smelling alley, demolished in 1888. The Ghetto
was a wretched place, and it is one of the glories of the
early pontificate of Pius IX. to have destroyed its bound-
ary wall, thrown open its gates, and broken the chains
which fettered the faithful Jews. When Gregorovius visited
Rome for the first time fifty years ago, the whole Ghetto
was inundated by the Tiber as far as the Propylaia of Oc-
tavia's portico ; yet the place was not essentially unhealthy :
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
in fact, more than once it has enjoyed immunity from epi-
demics which ravaged the rest of the town.
The first Pope who caused the inhabitants of the Ghetto
to wear a sign by which they could be distinguished from
Vanished Rome. A street scene in the old Ghetto.
their Christian fellow-citizens was Martin V. The signs
varied with time and with the caprice of the ruler. We
hear at first of " tabarri rubei," flaming-red overcoats which
had to be worn by the unfortunate brotherhood winter and
summer, by men and women alike. At Ferrara, where the
258 JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
number of the Jews had increased alarmingly since their
banishment from Spain and from Portugal, Duke Hercules
selected as a mark the letter in yellow ochre, to be worn
sewed on their breast. Paul IV., their great persecutor,
changed the red overcoat for a conical cap of orange hue,
not unlike in shape to the one characteristic of our popu-
lar mask, Pulcinella ; for which fresh insult the Jews took
signal vengeance. On the announcement of Paul's death,
which took place on August 18, 1559, the populace, who
had tolerated long enough the cruel rule of the Caraffa fam-
ily, broke into the Conservatori palace and overturned the
statue of the Pope, dragging the head through the streets.
The Jews took a leading share in this outbreak of popular
feeling, and carried the head, in their turn, through the
Ghetto, covering the pontifical tiara with the hateful orange
As a rule, common law penalties were applied with more
severity in the case of Jews than in the case of Christians,
especially when the offence was against public morality.
Thus, while Christian " cortigiane " 1 breaking the police
regulations were simply punished with f ustigation, much
to the joy of the populace, who counted upon such perform-
ances as one of the attractions of Carnival, the Jewesses
were generally burned at the stake in the Campo di Fiore.
It is true, at the same time, that Christians who fell vic-
tims to the fascination of the brunette daughters of Israel
ran the risk of losing their lives, as is proved by the follow-
Sixtus V. having heard that the young Duke of Parma
1 In Pope Leo X.'s time the number of the cortigiane was equal to about
one third of the total of single women or widows within the walls of the city.
Their number had diminished to 604 in 1600, to rise up again steadily until the
maximum of 1295 was reached in the year 1639.
JEWISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 259
had lived for a certain time on intimate terms with a Jewess,
caused him to be arrested, and on the acknowledgment of
his guilt, to be sentenced to the scaffold. As the moment
of the execution approached, and when the most powerful
intercessions had failed to obtain a mitigation of the sen-
tence from the stern old pontiff, Cardinal Alessandro Far-
nese, uncle of the young duke, thought of the following
stratagem. He caused all the clocks of the Vatican to be
put back, with the exception of the Pope's private one,
which alone was left to mark the true time. Cardinal
Alessandro having entered the audience-room a few mo-
ments before the hour fixed for the execution, made a su-
preme appeal to the clemency of Sixtus V., but in vain. At
last the Pope, looking at the quadrant and thinking that
all was over, granted the pardon, provided it was not too
late. The cardinal rushed to the prison, where the execu-
tioner, deceived by the clock, was waiting for the fatal
hour to strike. When the stratagem was at last discovered
the duke was already beyond the reach of the Pope's police.
Alas ! it was reserved to the present generation to see
the twenty-two hundred years old Jewish colony dispersed
forever. The Ghetto, so quaint in its filth and pictur-
esqueness, is no more. The scheme for the sanitation of
the City required its disappearance, and it has disappeared.
The Jews of Rome have lost their identity and their person-
ality, scattered as they are among a population of five hun-
dred thousand souls. Yet the poorer ones are still faithful
to their old habits ; they still pace our streets buying old
garments and hawking small articles of wear. The only
difference is that they no longer accept broken glass instead
of pennies. 1
1 " Transtiberinus ambulator, qui pallentia sulphurata [matches] fractis per-
mutat vitris." Martial, Epigr. i. 36.
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
ENGLISH memorials in Rome, as far as existing monu-
ments are concerned, date back to the first century of the
Empire. In A. D. 51-52, after the capture of King Carac-
tacus and the surrender of his brothers, a triumphal arch
was raised to the Emperor Claudius on the Via Flaminia,
the modern Corso, " for having subjugated eleven kings
of Britain without loss on the Roman side, and for hav-
ing first of all Romans annexed to the Empire barbarous
trans-oceanic lands." l The history of this arch is quite
remarkable. Discovered for the first time in 1562 in that
tract of the Corso which we call Piazza di Sciarra, it took
three hundred and eight years to dig its remains out of the
ground and to fill our museums with its fragments. Four
bas-reliefs, one of the dedicatory inscriptions, and one hun-
dred and. thirty-six cartloads of marble were brought to
the surface in 1562. Duke Giorgio Cesarini bought two
bas-reliefs and part of a third, which, after passing through
several hands, are now preserved in the Casino of the Villa
Borghese. The fourth panel was first walled up in front
of the house of Marsilius Cafano in the same Piazza di
Sciarra where it had been found, and was removed in 1593
to the Conservatori palace, where we can see it in the land-
ing of the great stairs. 2 Now three other panels from a tri-
umphal arch of Marcus Aurelius by S. Martina were already
exhibited in the same landing. The city magistrates, think-
1 Corpus Inscr. vol. vi. n. 920.
2 Helbig, Guide, vol. i. p. 407, n. 547.
THE VENUS GENETRIX BY ARCESII.Al'S
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
ing it a great pity that the fourth and last should belong to
a different Csesar, made away with the head of Claudius,
and substituted in its place that of the philosopher Em-
peror. The one hundred and thirty-six cartloads of Greek
and Luna marble were purchased by the sculptor Flaminio
The conquest of Britain in the inscription of Claudius.
Vacca, who sold them in turn to Pope Clement VIII.,
Aldobrandini. The marbles were sawn into slabs and
made use of in the pavement and in the veneering of the
transept of St. John Lateran.
Other portions of the arch were discovered in 1587, 1641,
and 1870. The only fragment now visible, besides the
four panels mentioned above, is the left half of the dedica-
264 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
tory inscription set into the garden wall of the Barberini
palace, Via delle Quattro Fontane. The other half supple-
mented in plaster is altogether wrong. (See page 263.)
If we except a breastplate of British pearls which deco-
rated the statue of Venus Genetrix by Arcesilaus in the fo-
rum of Julius Caesar, and certain masses of pig lead shipped
from British mines to the imperial " Horrea plumbaria " on
the left bank of the Tiber, 1 there are no other memorials
dating from classic times. Those of a later age begin with
the following record in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A. D.
688 : " This year King Caed walla went to Rome and received
baptism from Pope Sergius, and in about seven days after-
wards, on the twelfth day before the kalends of May [April
20, 689], while he was yet in his baptismal garments, he
died and was buried in St. Peter's."
We do not know the details of the hearty reception ten-
dered by the semi-barbaric Romans of the seventh century
to the fair-haired and blue-eyed young convert ; but Adhelm,
bishop of Sherborne, in a poem written in praise of the
royal maiden Bugge, asserts that the king of Essex was re-
ceived, as it were, in triumph amidst loud demonstrations of
joy from the clergy and from the populace. He was buried
in the atrium or " paradise " of St. Peter's, and his grave
was inscribed with two records, a poem of twelve distichs
and a short biographical note. Their text is to be found
in Bede's " History," v. 7, and also in the " Sylloge Turo-
nensis," n. 40, edited by de Rossi, " Inscr. Christ." vol. ii.
p. 70. The epitaph says, " Here lies Chedual, the same as
Peter, King of the Saxons, about thirty years of age. He
was laid to rest on April 20th in the Second Indiction, in
the fourth consulship of our Lord Justinian the most pious
Emperor, and in the second year of the pontificate of our
1 Corpus Inscr. vol. xv. 2 p. 987 ; Nibby, Roma antica, vol. ii. p. 149.
fli I~ .- -f "7 / I
\ fi fj^p dmcf mcSnxtimnf i&cenrritmo - v- bhrr
A pafr dua fair &mu/ij- d^apCrc rrclr trrdrn
! . mtnfcP vi tftdicf-jc- gl^ru)fiffimr n^rrr drftinrr r^--
cfLHhsfrgf'im lanis ts f-;
K* b "^
!/ , .---A . --*'-^ l -i r^---"-,-'-*. 1
OLDEST EXISTING VIEW OF THE FACADE OF ST. PETER'S
(From a sketch of the eleventh century in Cod. 124 of the Eton Library)
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 267
Apostolic father Sergius the first." According to Gio-
vanni de Deis, who in 1589 published a pamphlet on the
" Successors of Barnabas the Apostle," both inscriptions
had been composed by Benedict, archbishop of Milan.
The same writer declares that the sarcophagus which con-
tained the remains of the king was discovered together with
the epitaph in the foundations of the new basilica of St.
Peter in the time of Sixtus V. It must have been broken
to pieces, and thrown, like the commonest building material,
into the building trenches.
According to William of Malmesbury and other chroni-
clers two other Saxon kings were buried in the " paradise,"
Offa of Essex and Ccenred of Mercia, both of whom had
embraced the monastic life in one of the cloisters near the
Vatican. It is uncertain whether King Iria and his queen,
^Ethelburga, were buried in the same place, or in the na-
tional church of S. Maria de Burgo Saxonum, which had
been founded or enlarged by Ina himself. 1
This Schola Saxonum is the oldest and foremost of the
foreign colonies which clustered round St. Peter's, in the
low and unhealthy ground formerly occupied by the gar-
dens of Agrippina the elder. It dates from A. D. 727, while
the Schola of the Langobards was only founded about
770 by Queen Ansa, and those of the Franks and Frisians
by Charlemagne towards the end of the same century. It
consisted of a hospice for pilgrims and of a chapel dedi-
cated to the Virgin Mary. The chapel is still in existence,
near the gate of the Leonine city called Posterula Saxonum
(Porta di S. Spirito), although much altered and modernized
under the name of Santo Spirito in Sassia. The colony
flourished for many years, extending as far as the Ponte S.
1 Compare Tesoroni's article in the Proceedings of the British and Ameri-
can Arch. Society of Rome, March 24, 1891, p. 13.
268 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Angelo on the site of the present Arciospedale di S. Spirito ;
and the name Burg or Burgh, by which its dwellers desig-
nated it, is still in use, Italianized as Borgo. 1
The reconstruction of this interesting quarter after the
fire and pillage of the Saracens in 846 is connected with
the establishment of Peter's pence, about which so much
information has been given by Garampi, Cancellieri, and de
Rossi. 2 To keep the accommodations for pilgrims in good
order, to supply them with food and clothing, to nurse
them in their ailments, and to offer the Pope a tribute for
the maintenance of the places of pilgrimage, a national con-
tribution was established towards the beginning of the ninth
century, under the names of Romescot, R-omfeah, Rompen-
ing, etc., to be shared by every paterfamilias owning a
certain amount of property. In 998 the annual subsidy
amounted to three hundred marks sterling. A mark con-
tained one hundred and sixty denarii ; that is to say, it
represented the tribute of one hundred and sixty families.
Therefore the three hundred marks put down as the Eng-
lish tribute in the " Liber Censuum " represented forty-eight
thousand families, a considerable number indeed, if we
recollect what was the state of the British Isles in those
Three " ripostigli " or hidden deposits of Peter's pence
have been found in Rome : one in the House of the Vestals,
one in the belfry of St. Paul's, one at the Aquae Salvia3 or
The first, discovered November 8, 1882, in that part of
the Atrium Vestse which had been occupied between 942
1 Compare Antonio de Waal, / luoghi pii sul territorio vaticano, Roma, 1886,
2 Garampi, in Cod. vatic, latin. 9022, and Memorie della beata Chiara di Ri-
mino, p. 232 ; Cancellieri, in Giornale arcadico, 1821, vol. x. p. 264 ; De Rossi,
in Notizie degli Scavi, decembre, 1883.
THE BORGO, TIME C
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
and 946 by an officer of the court of Pope Marinus II.,
contained a gold-piece of Theophilus (A. D. 829-842) and
eight hundred and thirty -four silver pennies, representing
the tribute of so many families. The pennies all come from
British royal or archiepiscopal mints, except four which
bear the stamp of the mints of Pavia, Limoges, and Ratis-
bon. The presence of the four outsiders among the mass
of British pennies is not to be wondered at. In " Vol.
Miscell. Ashmole," 1820, of the Bodleian, p. 7, there is
an account of the discovery in Lancashire, in 1611, of a
repository with pieces of Alfred, Edward, Edmund, kings,
and Plegmund, archbishop, mixed with foreign pennies,
some French, some marked with the name of King Beren-
garius. Most of the English pieces bore the motto sci
PETRI mo(neta) EBORACE civ, which has nothing to do
with Peter's pence, but only shows that the piece was struck
in the archiepiscopal mint of York, the cathedral of which
was dedicated to St. Peter.
The second ripostiglio was found in 1843, walled in in
the old belfry of St. Paul' s-outside-the- Walls, the third in
1871 at the Tre Fontane. Both date from the time when
the institution of the " denarius sancti Petri " had become
general among the nations of western Europe.
I conclude by remarking that the discovery of English
coins in Rome is an extremely rare occurrence. There are
only a few in the Vatican collection, the origin of which,
besides, is not known. Considering this state of things,
de Rossi has come to the conclusion that English silver
must have been recoined in the Pontifical mint.
The institution of an English college in Rome is con-
nected by modern guidebooks with the old Schola and hos-
pice of the Saxons, but without warrant, for the hospice,
270 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
after having thrice been burned and plundered, was aban-
doned in 1204, and its revenues were transferred by Inno-
cent III. to the newly founded hospital of S. Spirito. The
institution may with more reason be connected with that
of the Jubilee which caused a revival of Anglo-Roman
intercourse in 1300. English pilgrims felt the loss of their
national hospice ; and it was at this juncture that a London
merchant, named John Shepherd, purchased certain houses
on the Via now called di Monserrato, and having converted
them into an establishment for the reception of pilgrims
and travellers under the invocation of the Holy Trinity
and St. Thomas, became with his wife the first superintend-
ent of the new institution. 1 According to the original
deed in the archives of the present English college, the
foundation must have been made about the year 1362.
Hospice and church occupied part of the site of the " Sta-
bula Factionis Venetae," the barracks and stables of the
squadron of the charioteers of the Circus who wore the blue
colors. The other three squadrons were distinguished, as
is well known, by their white (Factio albata), green (Fac-
tio prasina) and red (Factio russata) costumes. Each had
independent barracks, built with great magnificence, and
ornamented with precious works of art, adjoining which
there was a field called Trigarium or Campus Trigarius, for
the breaking in and training of horses, for which purpose
the charioteers availed themselves of the " triga," the un-
tamed animal being harnessed between two trained ones.
The barracks of the Greens, the favorite color with the
Roman populace, are placed in the neighborhood of the
church of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, on account of the denom-
ination " in Prasino " (among the Greens) which the church
1 Compare Henry Foley's vol. vi. of the Records of the English province of the
Society of Jesus, London, Burns & Gates, 1880, p. xxviii.
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 271
bore in ages gone by. The surmise has been shown to be
correct through the discovery of a pedestal dedicated to an
fi agitator Factionis Prasinae " under the adjoining palace
of la Cancelleria, and also of a water-pipe inscribed with the
words " Factionis Prasinse." These beautiful barracks, or
whatever parts of them were left standing, were occupied
between 366 and 384 by Pope Damasus, who transformed
them into an " archivum," or " chartarium Ecclesise Ro-
manse " for the preservation and safe-keeping of books
and documents belonging to the Holy See. Barracks
and library have disappeared long since. The building,
repaired and probably disfigured from time to time, was
levelled to the ground four hundred and fifteen years ago
(1486) by Cardinal Raphael Riario, nephew of Sixtus IV.
Its columns of red Egyptian granite were made use of by
Bramante in his wonderful court of the Palazzo della Can-
celleria. (See p. 273.) The " Stabula Factionis Prasinse "
were bounded on the west side by a street now called Via
dei Cappellari. On the opposite side of the same street,
and between it and the Via di Monserrato (also ancient),
rose the barracks of the Blues, on a corner of which the
English hospice was established by John Shepherd. Many
interesting finds are recorded in connection with the place.
Pietro Sante Bartoli, pontifical superintendent of antiqui-
ties at the end of the seventeenth century, says that a
" bellissima statua di un Fauno " was discovered in the
foundations of the new college in the spring of 1682, as
well as the architrave of a shrine dedicated to the god Sil-
vanus, A. D. 90, by a charioteer named Thallus. The
Blues are also recorded in inscription n. 9719 of vol. vi.
Corpus Inscr. Latin. (" Crescens . . . natione Bessus, olearius
de porticu Pallantiana Venetian or um "), and in n. 10,044,
1 Corpus Inscr. vol. vi. n. 10,058, 10,063 ; Bull Arch. Cam. 1887, p. 10.
272 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
a pedestal erected in memory of one of their great victories
(" Victoria Venetianorum semper constet feliciter "). I may
add that when the present church of St. Thomas a, Becket
was commenced in 1870 from the designs of Vespignani
the elder, remains of ecclesiastical edifices of the eleventh
or twelfth century and of an ancient Koman road were
discovered in the excavation for the foundations.
The pilgrim-book of the new college, commencing De-
cember 29, 1580, and ending in 1656, has been published
by Foley. The hospitable gates of the college seem to have
been equally open to Protestants and Catholics, provided
the visitors came from the mother country, and brought
letters of recommendation. The first entry in the book
runs as follows :
"1580, December 29. The illustrious Dom. Thomas
Arundel, an Englishman of the diocese of ... was this
day admitted as the first guest, and remained with us for
three days." This is the celebrated Sir Thomas surnamed
the " Valiant " on account of his daring exploits at the bat-
tle of Gran, when he took with his own hands the standard
of Mahomet. For this action of bravery he was created a
Count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1595 and first Baron
Arundel of Wardour in 1605. We also meet with the
names of the Duke of Buckingham, the Earls of Carnar-
von, Devon, Bolingbroke, the Lords Berkeley, Kensington,
Howard, Stafford, Hamilton, etc. Of Henry, son of the
first marquis of Worcester, it is said :
" 1649, December 20. This most noble pilgrim came
to us and remained until February the 14th, affording a
remarkable example to all the college from his habit of
constant prayer, spiritual conversation, and humility. On
leaving us he thought of proceeding to Jerusalem."
Perhaps the most famous of all the visitors of the col-
lege were John Milton and Richard Crashaw.
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The Palazzo della Oancelleria, built with the columns and marbles of the Barracks
of the " Greens " (Factio Prasina).
John Milton had been travelling in Italy since the death
of his mother in 1637. He became a guest of the college
on October 30, 1638, when he took his first dinner in the
refectory, together with the students, Mr. Carey, brother of
Lord Falkland, Dr. Holling of Lancashire, and a Mr.
Richard Crashaw, son of William, " preacher in the Tem-
ple," born in 1612, Fellow of Peterhouse and Pembroke
Hall, Cambridge, was expelled from that celebrated Univer-
sity with four other Fellows on June 11, 1644, because they
had refused to sign " the Solemn League and Covenant."
He became a Catholic while an exile in France, and Queen
Henrietta Maria, then a fugitive in Paris, to whom he had
been presented by his friend and fellow poet Cowley, gave
him letters of introduction to Italy. The pilgrim-book of
the English college contains the following entry : " Rich-
274 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
ard Crashaw, a pilgrim, arrived November 28, 1646, and
remained fifteen days." Other entries show that the poet
frequented the hospice for the space of four years. After
entering the household of Cardinal Paleotto, he obtained a
canonry at Loreto, in which city he died of fever after a
few weeks' residence. He was buried in that celebrated
sanctuary in 1650. 1
The reason which prompted English travellers, Protestant
as well as Catholic, to seek the hospitality of the college,
must be found, first, in their spirit of nationality, superior
to religious controversies and questions of creed, and,
secondly, in the wretched condition of Roman hostelries,
uncomfortable, unclean, and dear.
The oldest and best known inns, known in fact since the
institution of Jubilees, were the Albergo dell' Orso, the Al-
bergo del Sole, and the Albergo della Luna.
The Albergo dell' Orso is still extant, and still answering
its purpose, although the clientele is decidedly changed.
It stands at the corner of the Via di Monte Brianzo and
the Via del' Orso, and although whitewashed and slightly
altered, its shell and internal arrangements are practically
the same. Its guest-book begins with the name of Dante,
at least so the tradition says, 2 and ends, as far as famous
men are concerned, with that of Montaigne, who occupied a
room on the street side, for a few days, in 1580.
Another of these venerable establishments, still flourish-
ing in its own way, is the Albergo del Sole, near the Piazza
del Paradiso. Its first mention dates from 1469 ; and it
has undergone no special change in the course of four hun-
dred and thirty-two years.
1 Foley, 1. c. p. xxxiii.; Grosart, Complete Works of Richard Crashaw
Fuller's Worthies' Library, 1872.
2 Monti, Opere, vol. i. p. 260.
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The " Grand Hotel " of the seventeenth century was
undoubtedly the Hosteria di Monte Brianzo, in the street
of the same name, near the church of S. Lucia della Tinta.
In 1628-1629 it gave shelter to three princes of Hesse
who were travelling incognito. Burckhard calls it " une
hostellerie fameuse au bord du Tibre," and we know from
Mancini's " Viaggio " that its fagade had been designed
A typical Roman hostelry.
and perhaps painted by no less a master than Baldassare
Peruzzi. The inn came to grief about 1669.
The number of hostelries in Rome at the beginning of
the seventeenth century (1615) was 360 ; in Jubilee years
the number was quadrupled. Giovanni Ruccellai counted
1022 in 1450. Their capacity varied. The Hosteria della
Campana accommodated in 1469 thirty-five guests and
thirty-eight horses, and in 1489 the Duke Otto of Braun-
schweig, his suite, and twenty-nine horses. The managers
276 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
were mostly Germans or North Italians, demanding, as a
rule, exorbitant prices.
Ventura, who visited Rome in the Jubilee of 1300, spent
forty-four cents a day for his room alone. Matteo Villani
says that in the Jubilee of 1350 the stabling of a horse cost
ninety cents a day, a loaf of bread twelve cents, a " pintello "
of wine five.
The accommodations were not luxurious. The windows
had the " impannata," that is, a piece of white linen or
canvas instead of glass. The beds were covered by white
canopies or " padiglioni." Fireplaces for cooking and heat-
ing at the same time were first introduced in 1357 by Fran-
cesco da Carrara, Lord of Padua. The innovation is thus
described in the " Chronicle " of Galeazzo Gataro. 1 " When
Francesco alighted in Rome at the ' Moon ' he was surprised
to find that there were no chimneys nor fireplaces, the
Romans being in the habit of cooking their meals or of
warming themselves near a box full of ashes, that is, a
hearthstone placed in the middle of the room. 2 Francesco,
having brought with him from Padua master masons and
artisans of various crafts, caused two chimneys and two flues
to be made in the Albergo della Luna, which he decorated
with his own coat of arms. Chimneys have since become
popular in Rome."
The rooms were marked not by numbers, but by names.
That in the Albergo dell' Orso, rented to Giovanni Vi-
centino in 1570, was called the White Cross (la Croce Bi-
anca.) Gabriel Coyer found in the hotel at Turin in 1763
the rooms of the Madonna, St. Paul, and St. Peter; and
Kotzebue mentions four miserable little apartments in the
1 In Muratori, Rerum Italic. Scriptores, vol. xvii. col. 46.
2 The practice is still followed in the huts and farms of the Roman Cam-
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 277
hostelry at Novi, which were named Venice, Rome, Paris,
and Naples ; and in another place four rooms named from
the four parts of the world and a fifth called Russia.
Another curious custom was the hanging of a coat of
arms in rooms occupied by a distinguished personage.
Montaigne had his own painted in gold and colors at Pisa,
at a cost of one and a half scudi. The Marquis Vincenzo
Giustiniani gave two guldens to the artist of Aix-la-Cha-
pelle, who painted his armorial bearings over the door of
Lodgings, in the English sense of the word, were also to
be had in Rome. When Montaigne left the Albergo delF
Orso in 1580, he took up his quarters in lodgings, Via di
Monte Brianzo, n. 25, paying twenty scudi a month for
three good rooms salon, dining-room, kitchen and sta-
bles, fuel, and cook. He was charged only for provisions.
The same rooms were rented in 1638 to a son of the King
of Denmark travelling incognito. The diary of Misson,
who journeyed through Italy in 1717, contains the following
passage : " En arrivant a Rome nous nous misme dans
une Auberge. Mais a notre retour de Naples, nous prisme
ce qu'ils appellent un palazzo, et ce qu'il faut nommer en
bon Francois une maison garnie. Nous estions fort honor-
ablement pour vingt piastres par mois." About the same
period the daily wages for a valet or laquais were thirty
cents, while a good carriage and pair could be hired for
thirty dollars a month. 1
John Evelyn of Wotton says in his diary edited by
William Bray in 1818 that having reached the gates of
the Eternal City on November 4, 1644, wet to the skin, and
" being perplexed for a convenient lodging, he wandered up
and down on horseback, till at last he was conducted with his
1 Misson, Voyage en Italie, vol. iii. p. 229 (La Haye, 1717).
278 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
companions to the house of one Monsieur Petit, a French-
man, near the Piazza di Spagna," probably the " Inn of the
Three Keys," which stood near the entrance to the Via del
Babuino. This diary of Evelyn, on the subject of which
there is an excellent article by Tesoroni in the " Journal of
the British and American Arch. Society of Rome " (vol. iii.
n. 1, p. 33), is full of useful and pleasant information about
the social and material state of Rome under Pope Pamfili,
Innocent X. He went once to listen to the sermon which
used to be delivered every week exclusively for the benefit
of the Jews in the Oratorio della Trinita near the Ponte
Sisto. These compulsory sermons had been established at
the suggestion of a certain Andrea del Monte, a converted
rabbi of the time of Julius II. The Jews were forced by
the police to listen to the preacher, while a beadle with a
wand woke up the sleepy and chastised the noisy. Evelyn
adds, with a touch of humor, " A conversion is very rare ; "
yet during his stay in Rome two conversions took place,
one of a Jew, the other of a Turk, Evelyn acting as god-
father to both. The Turk was a sincere convert, the Jew
In Evelyn's Memoirs we find also a pleasing account of
English society in Rome, for which there were two centres :
one at the English college near the Palazzo Farnese, then
placed under the direction of the Jesuit fathers ; the other
at the Palazzo Barberini, the courteous owner of which, Car-
dinal Francesco, styled himself the Protector of England.
There were at that time many and distinguished travellers
from beyond the Channel, Lord John Somerset, brother of
the Marquis of Worcester, who had an apartment in the
Palazzo della Cancelleria ; Patrick Carey, a witty person, bro-
ther of Lord Falkland ; two physicians, Dr. Bacon and Dr.
Gibbs, attached to the suite of Cardinal Capponi. Gibbs, a
MEMORIALS IN ROM I':.
The English palace in Rome (now Giraud-Torlonia).
Scotchman by birth, educated at Oxford, practised at the
hospital of Santo Spirito, and acted occasionally as a guide
to Evelyn. (e He was an elegant writer of Latin poetry : a
small selection of his poems was published at Rome, where
he died in 1677 and was buried in the Pantheon." Among
the curiosities he saw in the City, Evelyn notes one Mrs.
Ward, a devotee, soliciting money for the establishment of
an order of female Jesuits !
I will now give an account of the residences of English
ambassadors in Rome, two of which have become famous
in history, one before, one after the Reformation.
Visitors to Rome are certainly familiar with the Palazzo
Giraud-Torlonia in the Piazza di Scossa Cavalli, built by
Bramante for Cardinal Adriano . Castelli da Corneto at the
end of the fifteenth century. The palace is equally inter-
esting to the archa3ologist, to the artist, and to the histo-
280 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
rian : to the first because it is built with the stones and mar-
bles of the Basilica Julia and of the temple of Janus ; to
the second because of the beauty and purity of its design ;
to the last because it was inhabited by the representatives
of England at the court of Rome before the Reformation.
We know very little about the early career of Cardinal
Adriano, and his end is also shrouded in mystery. 1 It
seems that a great knowledge of Hebrew, Latin, and Greek,
as well as shrewdness in political and ecclesiastical affairs,
won for him the good graces of Pope Innocent VIII., by
whom the young prelate was sent to England with the mis-
sion of bringing about peace between the kings of England
and Scotland. Henry VII., in his turn, made him repre-
sentative of English interests with Innocent VIII. and
Alexander VI., and gave him the see of Hereford, which he
exchanged later on for that of Bath and Wells. Promoted
cardinal on May 30, 1503, under the title of S. Crisogono,
he' brought to completion the building of a magnificent
mansion in the Borgo di San Pietro. The street on which
the palace stands had just been opened by Alexander VI.
through the slums of the Borgo, to give a suitable access
to St. Peter's from the bridge of S. Angelo ; and it was
accordingly named the Via Alexandrina. Nothing could
have pleased the Pope more than the readiness of Cardinal
Adriano to raise a costly building on the street which bore
his name. On this score, probably, the cardinal was given
full permission to secure building materials from wherever
he chose, and to lay hands on whichever ruins best suited
The palace was built with money provided by the liber-
1 Born at Corneto about 1458, he became the most important personage of
the court of Rome under Alexander VI. Disgraced by Leo X. on account of
his share in the conspiracy of Cardinal Petrucci, he fled from Rome. The place
and time of his death are unknown.
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
ality of King Henry VII., with the help of funds which Car-
dinal Adriano had been able to lay by in his capacity of
collector of apostolic revenues and Peter's pence in England.
Behind the palace, in the direction of the Leonine walls.
Alexander VI. (from a fresco in the Sale Borgia).
extended a garden, 1 in which one of the most thrilling
events in the history of that eventful period took place.
On Saturday evening, August 12, Pope Alexander Borgia
1 More exactly in the direction of the " Via Sixtina prope muros." On the
west side it extended as far as the garden of Francesco Soderini, Cardinal of
Volterra ; on the east side it touched the garden of Ardicino della Porta, Car-
dinal of Aleria.
282 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
and his son Caesar, Duke of Valentinois, with Cardinal
Adriano, had partaken of some refreshments in this garden,
the company being restricted to the three personages al-
ready mentioned, besides Cardinal Romolino (who had pre-
sided over the execution of Fra Girolamo Savonarola) and
another whose name is not mentioned. Both the Pope and
his son were taken that same evening with fits of vomiting,
followed by a violent fever. Next day the Pope was bled,
and felt so relieved that he took pleasure in watching some
of his attendants playing at cards. The fever came back
on the 14th, and disappeared the next day, only to strike
the patient again with increased violence on the 16th. The
gates of the Vatican palace were closed, Scipio, the head
physician, and his assistant only being allowed free pass.
On Friday, August 18, at eight o'clock in the evening Alex-
ander VI. expired, while his son, thanks to his youth and
robust constitution, was able to leave his bed and seek
refuge, with his followers and his valuables, in the Castle
of S. Angelo.
The rumor that the Pope had died of poison spread like
wildfire through the City, and we find it received and com-
mented upon in the diplomatic correspondence of Bel-
trando, ambassador of Ferrara, of Giustiniani, ambassador
of Venice, and also of the diarists Sanuto and Burckhard.
The theory of poison was strengthened in the minds of the
members of the court by the frightful appearance of the
corpse : " factus erat sicut pannus nigerrimus . . . os aper-
tum et adeo horribile quod nemo viderit unquam vel esse
tale dixerit," says Burckhard, and Sanuto repeats " mai a
tempo de cristiano fu veduta la piu or(r)enda e terribil
cosa." However, there is no necessity to resort to poison
to explain the fatal consequences of the supper of August
11. The Vatican district had not improved very much in
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
salubrity since the days of Tacitus, who calls it " infamis
aere ! " In fact, the cutting of a deep moat around the Castle
of S. Angelo, the choking up of drains, the transformation
of the once beautiful gardens of Domitia and Agrippina
into a marshy waste had made the Borgo the unhealthiest
district of Rome. 1 The August of 1503 had been particu-
larly malignant ; and half the members of the Pope's house-
hold were laid low with fever, many cases having proved
The cenotaph of Alexander VI- in the crypt of St. Peter's.
fatal. Soderini, the ambassador of Florence, could not
keep the Republic informed of the course of events in con-
sequence of an attack of malaria. And yet, if the case was
1 Cardinal Noris, in a letter dated September 10, 1695, says that seven
hundred persons had already been attacked by fever in the Borgo in the course
of that summer.
284 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
as simple as that, how can we explain the fact that Cardi-
nal Adriano's skin fell in strips, a fact which he himself
attributed to poisoning? Something terrible must have
happened on that memorable evening ; but I am afraid that
the principal actors must have carried the secret into their
One of the versions, which found its way into the diplo-
matic correspondence of the time, is that Alexander and
Valentino had plotted to poison their host, whose fortune
they were eager to confiscate, and that they both drank by
mistake the contents of the wrong bottle. Another version,
accepted in Venice, speaks of sugar-plums instead of wine
as the means selected by the Borgias to deal their blow;
stud adds that Cardinal Adriano, suspecting the reason
which had prompted the Pope to ask for an invitation to
supper, had bribed the Pope's butler with a promise of ten
thousand ducats if the poisonous candy would be spared to
Both versions seem to be wrong, and could eventually be
proved so. The student and lover of art has this advantage
over the historian and the politician, that he need not em-
bitter his own mind and excite the passions of his readers
by discussing the rights and wrongs of the Borgias, to
determine whether they were the abominable monsters, the
curse of mankind, of whom we have been accustomed to
read in cheap books, or if they must be considered as no
better and no worse than the average Italian princes of the
beginning of the sixteenth century, with whose deeds and
politics we have been made familiar by Macchiavelli. I have
before me a volume printed in 1887, in which the title of
" mostri iniqui e infernali " * is attributed, not to the Borgias,
but to those who speak of them with disrespect ! I have
1 Infernal and iniquitous monsters.
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 285
also before me an unpublished epigram by a contemporary
of Alexander VI., a witness of his deeds as a man, as a
prince, and as a priest, in which the seven capital sins are
distinctly alluded to in connection with his career. To the
student and lover of art. however, he appears under a better
light as the builder of the Sale Borgia in the Vatican, the
most exquisite, the most fascinating production of Italian
art at the opening of the Golden Age.
The palace of Cardinal di Corneto, in which this tragic
event took place, became English property in March, 1505.
By a deed, which is still to be found in the records of the
notary Beneinbene, the cardinal granted his property to
Henry VII., to his heirs and successors, as a residence for
English representatives to the Holy See. It was inhabited
by Silvestro Gigli in 1521, and by Christopher Bainbridge,
Cardinal of S. Prassede, in 1544. It did not remain long
in English hands, for Henry VII. presented it in his turn
to his dear friend, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggi. Afterwards
it passed through many hands, 1 until it was sold, March 29,
1820, to Prince Torlonia for the nominal sum of eight
Rome saw no more ambassadors from the court of St.
James until 1686, on April 13 of which year the Earl of
Castlemain, the special and, for some time, secret envoy
of King James II. to Innocent XI., reached the banks of
the Tiber. He was met two miles beyond the Porta del
Popolo by Cardinal Thomas Howard and his gentleman in
waiting, Paolo Falconieri, and, leaving his own travelling-
1 Cardinal Tolomeo Galli about 1580 ; Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1609 ;
the Campeggi again in 1635 ; Cardinal Girolamo Colonna in 1650 ; Queen
Christina of Sweden in 1669 ; Cardinal Radziekowsky about 1680 ; the hos-
pice for poor priests, called dei Cento Preti, in 1699; Count Pietro Giraud in
1720 ; the Vatican manufacture of mosaics in 1816 ; Giovanni Torlonia in
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The Palazzo Pamphili in the Piazza Navona.
coach, drove with the cardinal to his residence. The am-
bassador kept his official incognito for ten months ; un-
officially he was all this time the most talked-of foreign
representative in Rome. He had taken up his quarters in
the magnificent Palazzo Pamphili in the Piazza Navona,
over the gate of which hung two shields, each twenty-two
feet in diameter. Whether on account of their extraor-
dinary size, or of the even more extraordinary subjects
painted upon them, these two shields became the talk of
the town, and a pamphlet was published to explain their
meaning to the wondering crowds. 1 One, the shield of the
Pope, showed the figure of Britannia paying homage to the
Church, assisted and comforted by a venerable old man
1 Lettera nella quale si ragguaglia un Prelato . . . delle 2 grand* armi alzate
mlla facciata del palazzo Pamfili, etc. Roma, Ant. Ercole, 1686.
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
alleged to represent " Christian Zeal," by a female figure
representing Prudence, and by the personification of " Royal
Valor " in the character of Hercules trampling under his
feet the figure of Envy. There was also an altar, with the
Book of the Gospels upon it, resting upon the shoulders
of two Turks, one in military attire with many horse-
tails, one dressed as a mufti, with a mutilated copy of the
Koran in his hands. The scene was made complete by two
sphinxes, Father Tiber placidly gliding under the
The Barberini Palace.
Bridge, and branches of laurel symbolizing the victories
of Holy Church.
The other shield, belonging to Great Britain, almost
baffles description. There were the coats of arms of Eng-
land, France, Ireland, and Scotland, the garter, the lion,
the unicorn, the helmet, the crown, the ermine mantelet,
in a shield supported by two angels. Then came another
288 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Hercules, brandishing the club with one hand and a blue
label with the other, with the motto, " Dieu et mon droit,"
followed by a matron representing Britannia, and by the
figure of St. George, clad in armor, with a red English
cross on the cuirass. The hydra which he was piercing
with a spear had seven heads, representing seven leaders of
the Rebellion, among whom was the " impious, infamous,
and faithless " Titus Gates. Hercules and Britannia, in the
mean time, were trampling under their feet the rebel Col-
ledge (who had a corn thresher in his hands) and Gliver
Cromwell, with the characteristic orange feathers on the
helmet. Here also the scene was made complete by Father
Thames gliding under London Bridge, and by sphinxes,
angels, and branches of laurel.
The solemn presentation of credentials to Pope Innocent
XI. took place on January 8, 1687, followed by a banquet
given by Cardinal Charles Barberini in his great palace on
the Quirinal. The table, set in the Sala di Pier da Cor-
tona, was forty-seven feet long, and covered with sugar
statuettes representing the " Glories and Deeds of James II.
the Invict." The dinner lasted three hours, each of the
sixty or seventy courses being announced by a flourish of
trumpets. Gn the adjournment to the next hall, the ambas-
sador was welcomed by all the ladies and gentlemen of the
Roman nobility, all in fancy costumes on account of the
Carnival, and invited by them to drive in the Corso. He
appeared accordingly in the throng of joyous masqueraders,
and drove through the historic street in the state coach of
the Barberini, accompanied by Cardinals Pamphili, Altieri,
and Howard. All these events, by which the population
of Rome was so pleased and amused for the time being, are
described and illustrated in contemporary pamphlets and
prints, the best of all being Michael Writ's " Ragguaglio
POPE INNOCKNT XI
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 291
della solenne comparsa fatta in Roma gli otto di gennaio
MDCLXXXVII dal . . . conte di Castelmaine ambascia-
tore . . . di Giacomo secondo re d' Inghilterra, Scozia,
Francia, et Ibernia ... in andare publicamente all' udienza
di . . . papa Innocenzo undecimo, etc., etc. Roma, Ercole,
I have found a copy of this rare and curious volume, illus-
trated with engravings by Arnold van Westerhout, in the
library of Sir George Trevelyan at Wallington Hall. It
appears that the embassy, which numbered twenty-two mem-
bers, had embarked at Greenwich on February 15, 1686, on
the vessel Henrietta Mary, Captain Fesby, the crossing
of the Channel taking over two days and a half. From
Dieppe they travelled overland to Avignon, Monaco, Genoa,
and Leghorn. At Avignon the papal delegate, Mgr. Cenci,
entertained the ambassador at a banquet composed of four
courses of fourteen services each, fifty-six plates in all.
On the day appointed for the presentation of the cre-
dentials, the Earl of Castlemain drove to the Quirinal in
a coach drawn by six bays, a present from the Marchese di
Carpi, viceroy of Naples. The coach was escorted by six
pages and thirty-two outriders, and followed by three hun-
dred and thirty-five carriages. The procession followed a
roundabout way to the Quirinal, by S. Agostino, the Fon-
tanella di Borghese, the Corso, and the Tre Cannelle. On
January 14 the ambassador gave his state banquet in the
Gallery of the Pamphili palace, painted by Pier da Cortona.
On the table, one hundred and thirty palms long, were
eighty silver trays supporting lions and unicorns of sugar.
One hundred and ninety dishes were served. The public
rejoicings were closed by a musical entertainment given
by Queen Christina of Sweden in her beautiful (Corsini)
292 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
I will bring this chapter to a close by referring briefly to
the delightful church of S. Gregorio at Monte Celio, which
is, or ought to be, the English national church in Rome.
I have never been able to understand the reason why
the Popes of the last three centuries, so generous in the
matter of the discovery and safe-keeping of classic remains,
should have shown such marked indifference about church
antiquities. If we consider that one fifth at least of our
city and suburban places of worship date from an age when
the level of streets was from twelve to thirty feet lower,
and that when their floors were raised to the present level
no great injury was done to such parts of the edifice as
were doomed to disappear from view, it is easy to under-
stand what an amount of light the rediscovery of the buried
portions would throw on the origin and history of each
building. The zeal of the Popes seems never to have been
roused towards this aim, not even in the case of the houses
of Prisca and Pudens, the walls of which, lying under their
respective churches, have echoed in all probability with the
sound of the voices of the Apostles. The only works of
interest in this line, the rediscovery of the Constantinian
church of St. Clement, and of the House of John and
Paul, were undertaken in 1857 and 1887, respectively, by
private lovers of past memories, Father Mullooly and Padre
Germano, while the official authorities were planning on
their side the ghastly " restorations " of S. Crisogono, SS.
Apostoli, S. Angelo in Pescheria, S. Agnese, S. Maria in
Trastevere, etc., or the destruction of the Constantinian
apse of the Lateran.
No exploration of this kind would have better answered
its purpose, and better repaid the expense and time and
labor of the explorers than that of St. Gregory's house and
oratory, lying at a great depth under the church on the
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The church of S. Gregorio.
Cselian. A committee of which I was a member was
formed in 1890 for this purpose, under the presidency of
Cardinal Manning ; a search was made through the cellars
of the adjoining monastery, and the fact ascertained that the
house of the great pontiff and the monastic establishment
from which Augustine started to preach the gospel in Great
Britain (see page 294) are in a marvellous state of preserva-
tion, and could easily be excavated without impairing in the
least the stability of the modern church above. Cardinal
Manning had offered two thousand pounds to help the pre-
liminary works, and the city authorities had most willingly
given their approval, when the whole scheme collapsed for
reasons that it would be out of place to mention here.
The project of sending his apostles to England was con-
ceived by Gregory the Great early in 596, on receiving the
news that the Christian aborigines were allowed by the
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Anglo-Saxon a certain freedom in practising their faith,
and that ^Ethelbyrht, king of Kent and bretwalda of the
heptarchy, had married a Christian princess, Bertha, daugh-
ter of Caribert, to whom also full freedom was granted to
follow the precepts of Christ.
The apostolic mission, headed by Augustine, started from
the House of Gregory in the spring of 596. They followed
the course of the Tiber to Porto, set sail for the Gulf of
Lyons, and eventually landed at the monastic island of
Lerins on the coast of Provence. Here the mission was
overtaken by feelings of despondency. The tossing of
their ship over the choppy waves of the Mediterranean, the
sight of new lands, the sound of unknown tongues, made
them regret so profoundly their happy and uneventful life
on the Cselian hill that Augustine was sent back to implore
from Gregory their release from the perilous undertaking.
St. Augustine leaving 1 Rome for England (from a fresco at the Monte Oliveto
As a token of humble devotion Augustine brought with
him a certain quantity of wooden spoons and cups carved
by the monks of Lerins for the poor of Rome. Gregory
kindly but firmly maintained his former decision : Augus-
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 295
tine was sent back with the title of abbot, and with letters
of recommendation to Brunehilde, queen of Austrasia and
Burgundia, to Clotaire II. of Neustria, and to the Frank or
Austrasian prelates. The journey was resumed under better
auspices. Of their landing at Tanatos (Thanet), of their
settling- at Doruvernum (Canterbury), of their reception by
Bertha and ^Ethelbyrht, of their fruitful evangelization of
England, I need not speak, as the history of these events
has just been written anew and with profound learning by
my friend Professor Hartmann Grisar, S. J., the illustrious
author of the " Geschichte Roms und der Papste im Mittel-
alter." 1 '
The same events are commemorated by two long in-
scriptions in the atrium of S. Gregorio, which contains
another monument dear to the English visitor, the tomb of
Sir Edward Came of Glamorganshire. Sir Edward was
sent abroad with Cranmer in 1530 to seek the opinion of
foreign universities on the divorce of Henry VIII. Later
on he became British representative at the court of Rome,
and several of his dispatches have been published by Bishop
Burnet. On the breaking up of diplomatic relations Paul
IV. induced him to remain in Rome, where he died in 1561.
Another remarkable tomb of British interest is to be found
in the church of S. Cecilia, a church once full of archa3ologi-
cal interest and now one of the most impressive specimens
of the heinous taste which prevailed in the seventeenth cen-
tury among Roman artists and their patrons. A discovery,
however, has just been made that will lead us to forget the
shameful transformation of the church above ground, for
the value of what has been found below. 2
1 Published by Herder of Freiburg in Breisgau, 1901 (vol. i.).
- Compare Crostarosa Pietro, Bull. arch, cristiana, vol. vi. 1900, pp. 143
296 ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME,
The excavations were undertaken in the autumn of the
year 1899 by Cardinal Rampolla, titular of S. Cecilia, and
his archaeological adviser, Mgr. Crostarosa. They found
a starting-point in the remains of a bathing-apartment,
visible in and around the chapel of the saint at the ex-
tremity of the right aisle, and they were able to ascertain
at once that these bathrooms formed part of a great and
noble palace, the remains of which extend far beyond the
area of the present church. The apartments brought to
light are divided into two sections by a longitudinal wall
without doors or openings of any kind. It seems, there-
fore, that the church covers the remains not of one but
of two distinct houses, the boundary wall of which follows
the axis of the nave. The one on the left is the nobler of
the two, and contains among other apartments a hall of
basilical type, with nave and aisles separated by two rows
of clumsy brick pilasters. The house on the right must
have belonged to a family of inferior rank, if we accept
the conjecture of Professor Mau that the two circular tanks,
discovered in the principal room formed part of a tanner's
establishment. The conjecture is the more acceptable if
we consider that the district in which S. Cecilia is placed
was mostly occupied by tanners, the most powerful and
the most troublesome of Roman trade guilds. Their head-
quarters, called " Coriaria Septimiana " from the Emperor
Septimius Severus, who rebuilt and enlarged and endowed
them at the beginning of the third century, were discov-
ered in 1871 at the corner of the Via de' Salumi, and the
Via in Piscinula, not more than two hundred and fifty
yards from S. Cecilia. Another indication of the social
state of the owner is to be found in the poverty and sim-
plicity of the family shrine, or Lararium. It consists of a
recess in one of the walls, shaped like a loophole, with a
ENGLISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 297
figurine of Minerva, carved in low relief out of a piece of
peperino, at the bottom, while the slanting sides are pan-
elled with a couple of terracotta friezes, representing a
vintage scene. This second house is built over and amongst
the remains of a much older one, dating from the second
century B. c., when the level of the Trastevere was lower
by six or seven feet, and when stone was used in domestic
architecture instead of bricks. The walls of the nobler
house are mostly of the third century after Christ, and its
pavements those, I mean, which have not been destroyed
by the gravediggers after the erection of the church are
The tomb of Cardinal Adam of Hertford.
of mosaic in black and white. Two rather good marble
sarcophagi have also been unearthed one with the Cale-
donian hunt on its lid, used again for Christian burial at
the time of Paschal I., who rebuilt in 821 the old oratory of
Urban I. and gave it its present basilican type.
All these interesting relics have been left visible under
298 ENGLISH MEMORALS IN ROME.
the modern pavement, as has already been done with those
of St. Clement, of Sts. John and Paul, and as will be done,
I hope, at no distant date, with those of the house and mon-
astery of Gregory the Great.
The tomb in S. Cecilia which attracts the attention of
the English traveller is that of Cardinal Adam of Hertford,
on the right of the main door. (See page 297.) This pre-
late, a very learned man for the age, administrator of the
diocese of London and titular of S. Cecilia, took part in the
opposition to Urban VI., and, having been arrested with five
other cardinals at Lucera, was carried by that Pope to
Genoa. He alone was saved, by the interference of the Eng-
lish crown, the others being put to death in the convent of
S. Giovanni di Pre, where their remains were discovered
not many years ago.
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
AN old tradition relates that Christianity had not long-
been established over the Roman Empire when one day
a youth, weary and footsore, entered one of the gates of
the Imperial City. He came from a land in the far north
which few had heard of, and he had long travelled " per
mare et per terras " in his desire to study the truths of faith
by the tombs of the Apostles. How long Ninian remained
in Rome is not stated ; however, by command of the Pope,
he eventually retraced his steps home, preached the gospel
to his fellow-countrymen, and founded the church of Gallo-
way, about two hundred years before St. Augustine landed
Scotland, however, was too far away and the difficulties
of travelling too great for many to follow in Ninian 's foot-
steps, and so the clergy was trained, not in Rome, nor on
the Continent, but in the local monastic schools, which in
Scotland, as elsewhere, were then the homes of learning
and the nurseries of science. After the monastic schools
came the universities, and St. Andrews and Glasgow and
Aberdeen became the great centres of intellectual work.
It was only after the religious troubles of the sixteenth
century that the project of instituting a Scots college in
Rome was formed.
The ancient monastery of St. James at Ratisbon, founded
by Marianus Scotus in 1068, had long since fallen into a state
of decay, and so had the seminary which Abbot Fleming
300 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
had instituted in connection with the old abbey. In 1576
another Scotch college was founded at Tournay, not to
speak of the one in Paris which owed its existence to Cardi-
As far as K-ome was concerned, there had been a national
church dedicated to St. Andrew, and a hospice for the re-
lief of Scotch pilgrims, long before the Reformation. The
modern church of S. Andrea delle Fratte occupies and
marks the spot where the devout people from beyond the
Tweed found a welcome when they came to visit the holy
places at Rome. It was Clement VIII. who, by a bull dated
December 5, 1600, gave the Scottish Catholics a national col-
lege. Its site, very confined and unsuitable, was in the Via
del Tritone, near the church of Our Lady of Constantinople.
In 1604 it was transferred to the Via delle Quattro Fon-
tane, opposite to the present Barberini palace, where it has
remained ever since.
The history of this institution has been given by Mgr.
Robert Fraser, the present rector, in an illustrated article
published in the March number of " St. Peter's Magazine "
for 1899. It is remarkably uneventful as far as general
interests are concerned. More interesting, perhaps, to the
reader is another incident in the history of Scottish-Roman
relations, concerning the prominent place gained by a Scot-
tish gentleman as an archaeological explorer of the Cam-
The name of Gavin Hamilton was not new in Rome. I
have found in the records of the sixteenth century an obliga-
tion signed December 3, 1554, by the Reverend Doctor Gavin
Hamilton, abbot of Kylwyning and coadjutor to the see of
St. Andrews in the kingdom of Scotland, viz., a receipt
for the sum of three thousand scudi of gold which he had
borrowed from the bank of Andrea Cenami in Paris. For the
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN HOME. 301
guarantee of which sum he deposits the papal brief of
nomination to the coadjutorship of St. Andrews, and
offers the signature of three sponsors. Gavin Matreson, a
priest of St. Andrews, D. Bonard, canon of Dingwall, and
Andrew Grayme, a priest of Brechin. 1
His namesake, the painter and explorer of the Campagna,
was born at Lanark towards the middle of the eighteenth
century, of an ancient and respected family, the Hamil-
tons of Murdieston. Having displayed from an early age
a marked predilection for the fine arts, and not finding
opportunities to gratify such a taste in his native land, he
moved to Rome, where he soon acquired great renown,
and where he passed the rest of his life, revisiting Scotland
only at long intervals and for very short periods. 2
I shall not follow his career as an artist, nor shall I de-
scribe his celebrated paintings in the Casino of the Villa
Borghese, representing scenes from the Iliad. His partiality
as an artist for Homeric subjects is shown not only by the
great frescoes just mentioned, but also by smaller pictures,
representing such scenes as Achilles standing over the dead
body of Patroclus, Achilles dismissing Briseis, and Achilles
dragging the body of Hector, which have passed into the
collections of the Duke of Hamilton, of Lord Hopetoun,
and of the Duke of Bedford. 3 Gavin Hamilton attracts
us more as an archaeological explorer of the Roman Cam-
pagna, as an indefatigable excavator, as a man of enormous
activity crowned by extraordinary success. He was not
working alone, but as a member of a company, formed,
I am sorry to say, more for a lucrative than for a scientific
1 State Archives, in the Campo Marzio, vol. 6166, p. 475.
2 See Lord Fitzuiaurice's article in the Academy, quoted by A. H. Smith,
" Catalogue of ... Marbles at Lansdowne House," p. 7.
3 These subjects have been engraved by Cunego, Morghen, and others.
302 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
purpose. There were three of them, associated from 1769
or 1770 : James Byres, architect ; Gavin Hamilton, painter ;
and Thomas Jenkins, banker. The place of Byres was
afterwards taken by Robert Fagan, English consul at
Rome. In volume i. of the " Townley Marbles " the Villa
of Hadrian is indicated as their principal field of operation ;
but this is not precisely true. There is no doubt that the
discoveries they made in the Pantanello, near the gates of
Hadrian's Villa, count among the most successful of the
century ; but they had the same if not a better chance at
Ostia, Porto, Ardea, Marino, Civita Lavinia, Torre Colom-
bara, Campo Jemini, Cornazzano, Monte Cagnolo, Roma
Vecchia, Gabii, Subiaco, Arcinazzo, etc. The documents
concerning these excavations, unedited for the greater part,
will be found in volume iv. of my " Storia degli Scavi
di Roma." The second member of the company, James
Byres, architect, was the special correspondent and pur-
veyor of Charles Townley, as Hamilton was of William
Fitzmaurice, second Earl of Shelburne, first Marquis of
Lansdowne, and founder of the Lansdowne Museum of
Statuary. Byres, besides working in the interest of the
company, carried on a trade of his own, especially in rare
books and drawings and in smaller and precious objects,
among which were the " Mystic Cista " of Palestrina of
the Townley Collection (found 1786), the bronze patera
of Antium (found 1782), and the golden fibula of Pales-
trina, now in the British Museum, etc. Byres returned
to his native land in 1790, and died at Tonly, Aberdeen-
shire, in 1817, at the age of eighty-five.
" Thomas Jenkins first visited Rome as an artist, but
having amassed a considerable fortune by favor of Clement
XIV. (Ganganelli) became the English banker. He was
driven from Rome by the French, who confiscated all they
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 303
could find of his property. Having escaped their fury, he
died at Yarmouth immediately on his landing after a storm
at sea, in 1798. For an account of his extensive dealings
in antiquities (especially the purchase and dispersion of
the Montalto-Negroni collection) see Michaelis, ' Anc. Mar-
bles/ p. 75." 1
I must say that the dealings of Hamilton and his asso-
ciates with the government of the land whose hospitality
they enjoyed were not always fair and above board.
Payne Knight, giving evidence before the Select Com-
mittee of the House of Commons, on the Elgin Marbles, in
1793, distinctly affirms that some of the marbles could only
be removed from Rome by bribing the Pope's officials,
while others were " smuggled " or " clandestinely brought
away." In a letter addressed by Hamilton to Lord Shel-
burne on July 16, 1772, we find the following passage :
" In the meanwhile I give your Lordship the agreeable news
that the Cincinnatus (discovered at the Pantanello in 1769)
is now casing up for Shelburne House, as the Pope has
declined the purchase at the price of 500, which I de-
manded, and has accepted of two other singular figures,
. . . which I have given them at their own price, being
highly necessary to keep Visconti and his companion the
sculptor my friends. Your Lordship may remember I
mentioned in a former letter that I had one other curious
piece of sculpture which I could not divulge. I must,
therefore, beg leave to reserve this secret to be brought to
light in another letter, when I hope I shall be able to say
it is out of the Pope's dominions. As to the Antinous, I
am afraid I shall be obliged to smuggle it, as I can never
hope for a license." And in a second letter, dated August
6, he adds : " Since my last I have taken the resolution to
1 Smith, A Catalogue, p. 58 ; Dallaway, Anecdotes, p. 365.
304 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
send off the head of Antinous in the character of Bacchus
without a license. The under-antiquarian alone is in the
secret, to whom I have made an additional present, and
hope everything will go well."
His luck as a discoverer of antiques was simply marvellous,
and many of his reports sound like fairy tales. The year
1769 is the date of the excavations at the Pantanello, the
product of which was mostly purchased by Lord Shelburne
for the gallery at Lansdowne House. Hamilton himself
wrote an account of the proceedings to Townley, a synopsis
of which is given by Dallaway (" Anecdotes of the Arts in
England," London, 1800, p. 364). The place had already
been explored by a local landowner, Signor Lolli. Hamil-
ton and his associates in the antiquarian speculation " em-
ployed some laborers to re-investigate this spot. They
began at a passage to an old drain cut in the rock, by
means of which they could lower the waters of the Panta-
nello. After having worked some weeks by lamplight, and
up to the knees in stinking mud full of toads, serpents, and
other vermin, a few objects were found . . . but . . . Lolli
had already carried away the more valuable remains. The
explorers fortunately met with one of Lolli's workmen, by
whom they were directed to a new spot." " It is difficult to
account," Hamilton writes to Townley, " for the contents
of this place, which consisted of a vast number of trees,
cut down and thrown into this hole, probably from despite,
as having been part of some sacred grove, intermixed with
statues, etc., all of which have shared the same fate. More
than fifty-seven pieces of sculpture were discovered in a
greater or less degree of preservation." 1
1 Catalogue given by Agostino Penna, in his Viaggio pittorico delta Villa
Adriana, Roma, 1833. The exploration of the Pantanello lasted from 1769 to
1772. Piranesi gives another excellent account in the description of his plan
of Hadrian's Villa.
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
A view of Hadrian's Villa excavated by Hamilton.
The search at Torre Colombara, near the ninth mile-
stone of the Appian Way, began in the autumn of 1771.
Two spots were chosen about half a mile apart : one sup-
posed to have been a temple of Domitian, the other a villa
of Gallienus. Hamilton was struck by the number of du-
plicate statues found in these excavations, one set being
greatly inferior to the other in workmanship and finish, as
if there had been an array of originals and one of replicas.
The statues lay dispersed all over the place, as if thrown
aside from ignorance of their value, or from a religious
prejudice. Some were lying only a few inches below the
surface of the field, and bore marks of the injuries inflicted
upon them by the ploughman. First to come to light was
the Marcus Aurelius, larger than life, now at Shelburne
House. The Meleager, the jewel of the same collection, and
one of the finest statues in England, was next found ; and
306 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
also the so-called " Paris Equestris," sold by Jenkins to Smith
Barry, Esq. The same gentleman purchased at a later
period a draped Venus, to which was given the name of
Victrix. In fact, most of the leading European collections
have their share of the finds of Torre Colombara. The
Museo Pio Clementino secured the celebrated Discobolus,
now in the Sala della Biga, n. 615, the colossal bust of Sera-
pis, now in the Rotonda, n. 549, and some smaller objects ; 1
Mr. Coch, of Moscow, a sitting Faun and an Apollinean
torso of exquisite grace ; Dr. Corbett, a Venus ; Lord Lans-
downe, an Amazon ; and so forth.
The crowning point of Hamilton's career must be found
in the search he made in the spring of 1792 among the
ruins of Gabii. Ciampini, Fabretti, Bianchini, and other
explorers of Latium had already identified the site of this
antique city, the Oxford of prehistoric times, with that of
Castiglione on the southeast side of the lake of the same
name. Many valuable or curious remains had come acci-
dentally to light in tilling the land, especially in the vicin-
ity of the temple of Juno, which marks the centre of the
Roman municipium, and of the church of S. Primitivo,
which marks the centre of Christian Gabii. These discov-
eries having become more and more frequent in the time
of Prince Marc' Antonio Borghese the elder, he readily
accepted Hamilton's application to make a regular search.
The work began in March, 1792, and lasted a compara-
tively short time ; yet the results were such that Prince
Marc' Antonio was obliged to add a new wing to his mu-
seum in the Villa Pinciana, to exhibit the Gabine marbles,
the summary description of which by Ennio Quirino Vis-
conti (Rome, Fulgoni, 1797) forms a bulky volume of one
hundred and eighty-one pages and fifty-nine plates. Ham-
1 Compare Helbig's Guide, vol. i. p. 236, n. 331, and p. 217, n. 304.
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
ilton had laid bare two important edifices : the temple of
Juno, with its sacred enclosure and its hemicycle opening
on the Via Praenestina, and the Forum and the Curia of
the Roman Gabii. Here he found eleven statues or im-
portant pieces of statues of mythological subjects ; twenty-
four statues or busts or heads of historical personages,
including Alexander the Great, Germanicus, Cnaeus Domi-
tius Corbulo, the greatest Roman general of the time of
Nero, Claudius, Geta, Plautilla, etc. ; seven statues of local
worthies, seven pedestals with eulogistic inscriptions, be-
sides columns, mosaic pavements, architectural fragments,
coins, pottery, glassware, and bronzes.
The end of the Borghese Museum is well known. The
most valuable marbles, those from Gabii included, were
removed to Paris by the first Napoleon, for which an in-
demnity of fifteen millions of francs was promised to Prince
308 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Borghese. The greater part of this sum remained unpaid
at the fall of the French Empire, and is still unpaid.
England, as usual, had her share in the spoils from Gabii.
Visconti informs us that a beautiful polychrome mosaic
floor, discovered among the ruins of a villa, at a certain
Bust of Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo.
distance from the temple of Juno, was purchased by " my
Lord Harvey, count of Bristol," and removed to his country
seat in Somersetshire.
The year 1717 marks the arrival of the " last of the
Stuarts " in the States of the Church. Under the name of
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
the Chevalier de St. Georges, James III., son of James II.
and of Mary Beatrice of Modena, sought the hospitality of
Pope Clement XI., Albani, in the beautiful ducal castle at
Urbino. The Chevalier de St. Georges was not altogether
unknown to the Romans. Many among the living remem-
bered the celebration made by Cardinal Howard on the
announcement of his birth in 1688, when an ox stuffed
with game was roasted in one of the public squares, and
served to the populace. A rare engraving by Arnold van
Vesterhout represents this event. 1
The marriage of James III. with Mary Clementina, grand-
daughter of the great John III., Sobieski, of Poland,
arranged by Clement XI. in 1718, was attended with con-
siderable difficulties. While crossing the Austrian terri-
tory, she was detained in one of the Tyrolean castles by
order of Charles VI., Emperor of Austria. She succeeded,
however, in eluding the vigilance of the keepers, and, dis-
guised in a young man's attire, made good her escape.
When she reached Rome in the spring of 1719, the Pope
bade her take up her quarters in the monastery of the
Ursulines, in the Via Vittoria. This monastery still exists,
although transformed into a royal Academy of Music.
The marriage was celebrated in the village of Montefias-
cone, on the Lake of Bolsena, where the royal couple spent
their honeymoon. There is a scarce engraving of the wed-
ding ceremony, by Antonio Frix, from a sketch by Agostino
Masucci, bearing the title : " Funzione fatta per lo sposa-
lizio del re Giacomo con la principessa Clem. Sobieski."
In Rome they established their residence in the Palazzo
Muti-Savorelli, now Balestra, at the north end of the Piazza
1 " Stampa di un bue arrostito intero, ripieno di diversi animali, comesti-
bili in publica piazza, da distribuirsi al volgo, in occassione delle allegrezze
celebrate in Roma dal Card. Howard, per la nascita del principe Giacomo."
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The church of S. Fla
the village of Montefiascone.
de' Santi Apostoli, the rent being paid by the Pope. The
Pope also offered them an annual subsidy of fifteen thou-
sand dollars, besides a wedding present of a hundred thou-
sand. The old baronial manor of the Savelli at Albano
was put at their disposal for a summer residence. 1
The birth of their first son, which took place December
31, 1720, gave occasion for great manifestations of loyalty.
The event was announced by a royal salute from the guns
of the Castle of St. Angelo, and by the joyous ringing of
1 After the death of his parents and brother the Savelli manor passed into
the hands of Cardinal York. An English visitor who saw it about 1800 gives
the following details : " Cardinal Stuart . . . has a palace in Albano, which
was given him by the Pope. He never resides there, but successively lent it
to the Spanish ambassador, and to the princesses Adelaide and Victoire, aunts
of the unfortunate Lewis XVI. . . . This palace ... is furnished in the plainest
manner, and in one of the principal rooms are maps of London, Rome, and
Paris, as also one of Great Britain, on which is traced the flight of the late
Pretender." See Description of Latium, p. 69, London, 1805.
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
some two thousand bells. N. 544 of the " Diario di Roma "
contains an account of the baptism of the infant prince
under the name of Charles Edward. The sponsors were
Cardinal Gualtieri for England, Cardinal Imperiali for Ire-
land, and Cardinal Sacripante for Scotland. Clement XL
said mass in the chapel of the English college, and gave,
as presents, a Chinese object valued at four thousand dol-
lars and a cheque amounting to ten thousand.
Their second son, Henry Benedict, Duke of York, was
born in 1725 and baptized by Pope Benedict XIII. in the
chapel of the Muti palace. Among the presents received
on this occasion were the " Fascie benedette." " Fascie " in
Italian means a long band of strong white linen, with which
newborn infants are tightly swathed during the first
months of their life. However ungentle this practice may
seem, it is kept up in Italy even in our own days, as the
people believe they impart more firmness of limb to their
children by swathing them in this manner.
The habit of the papal court of presenting these fascie
to the eldest born of a royal house dates as far back as
Clement VII., Aldobrandini. This Pope gave them, for
the first time, in 1601, to Henry IV. of France, whose
second wife, Maria de' Medici, had given birth to the dau-
phin, the future Louis XIII. The fascie were intrusted to
a special ambassador, Maffeo Barberini, who afterwards
became Pope Urban VIII.
The presentation of the baby bands to James III. and his
Queen Clementina is fully described in no. 1200 of the " Dia-
rio di Roma." It took place on April 5, 1725, the prelate
selected as envoy extraordinary being Monsignor Merlini
Paolucci, Archbishop of Imola. The bands and other
articles of a rich layette were enclosed in two boxes, lined
with crimson velvet embroidered in solid gold. There were
312 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
bands also ornamented with gold embroidery, and others of
the finest Holland linen trimmed with exquisite lace. The
gift to the infant prince was valued at 8000 scudi.
From the same invaluable source, the "Diario di Roma"
(n. 2729), we gather many particulars about the death of
Queen Clementina, which took place on January 18, 1735,
and about her interment in St. Peter's. The theatres were
closed, much to the annoyance of the managers and the
public, as it was carnival time ; also the illuminations and
fireworks prepared in honor of the newly elected Cardinal
Spinelli, Archbishop of Naples, were given up. The funeral
ceremonies began in the parish church of SS. Apostoli,
where the body of the Queen was exposed on a catafalque,
of which we have an etching by Baldassarre Gabuggiani.
The funeral cavalcade from the parish church to the Vati-
can, of which there is a print by Rocco Pozzi, was attended
by the college of cardinals in their violet or mourning robes.
On the preceding day the governor of the city, Monsignor
Corio, had issued the following proclamation :
" On the occasion of the transferment of the mortal re-
mains of Her Majesty Clementina Britannic Queen, which
will take place to-morrow with due and customary solemnity,
and with the view of removing all obstacles which might
interfere with the orderly progress of the pageant from the
church of SS. Apostoli to St. Peter's, we, Marcellino Corio,
Governor of Rome and its district . . . order, command, and
bring to notice to ah 1 concerned, of whatever sex or condition
of life, not to trespass or intrude over the line of the pro-
cession with their coaches, carriages, or wagons, under the
penalty of the loss of the horses besides other punishments
for the owners of the said coaches, carriages, and wagons,
while the coachmen or drivers shall be stretched three
times on the rack then and there without trial or appeal.
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Given in Rome from our residence this day, January 21,
1735." (Signed) Marcellino Corio, Governor ; Bartolomeo
The college of the Propaganda commemorated the event
The catafalque raised in the church of SS. Apostoli for the
funeral of James III.
by holding an assembly in which the virtues of Mary Clem-
entina were celebrated and sung in twenty different lan-
guages, including the Malabaric, the Chaldsean, the Tartaric,
and the Georgian. Two monuments were raised to her :
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
one in SS. Apostoli, one in St. Peter's. The first consists
of an urn of " verde antico," and a tablet of " rosso,"
containing the celebrated epigram :
Hie Clementinas remanent praecordia : nam Cor
cselestis fecit, ne superesset, amor.
I have a suspicion that the distich was written by Giulio
Cesare Cordara, S. J., a great admirer of the late princess.
The same learned man wrote a pastoral drama, called " La
Morte di Nice " (Nike's Death), printed at Genoa, 1755, and
translated into Latin by Giuseppe Vairani. The body was
laid to rest in St. Peter's, in a recess above the door lead-
ing to the dome (Porta della Cupola). The tomb, designed
The Sacre Grotte Vaticane.
by Filippo Barigioni, cut in marble by Pietro Bracci, with a
mosaic medallion by Cristof ori, was unveiled on December 8,
1742. 1 It cost 18,000 scudi, taken from the treasury of the
chapter of St. Peter's.
1 Literature : Vita di Maria Clem., etc., Bologna, 1744 ; Parentalia Maria;
Clem. Magnce Brittannice regince, Romae, 1735 ; Solenni esequie di Maria Clem.,
etc., celebrate in Fano, Fano, 1735 ; Casabianca Francesco, Epicediumpro imma-
turofunere Marice Clem., Romse, 1738 ; II Cracas, n. 3960, 3322, 2990 ; Pisto-
lesi, II Vaticano descritto, vol. i. p. 257.
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 315
It seems that the happiness of Queen Clementina's
domestic life was occasionally affected by passing clouds.
After her death the king took even more interest in Roman
patrician society. In a book of records of Pier Leone
Ghezzi, now belonging to the department of antiquities of
the British Museum, I have found the account of a visit
paid by the king to Cardinal Passionei in his summer resi-
dence at Camaldoli near Frascati, on October 19, 1741.
" The King of England," Ghezzi says, " was accompanied by
the Princess Borghese and the Princess Pallavicini, alone,
without any escort of ( demoiselles d'honneur.' '
Many interesting particulars about the life of the pair
in Rome, related by contemporary daily papers, are now
almost forgotten. They were very fond, for instance, of
enjoying the popular gathering called the Lago di Piazza
Navona. 1 This noble piazza, still retaining the shape of
the old Stadium of Domitian and Severus Alexander, over
the ruins of which it is built, used to be inundated four
or six times a year, during the hot summer months, by
stopping the outlet of the great fountain of Bernini, called
the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. Stands and balconies
were erected around the edge of the lake ; windows were
decked with tapestries and flags ; bands of music played,
while the coaches of the nobility would drive around where
the water was shallow. It was customary with the owners
of the palaces bordering on the piazza to send invitations
to their friends, and treat them with refreshments and
The first mention I find of the presence of James and
Maria Clementina at this curious gathering dates from
Sunday, August 11, 1720. They were the guests of Cardi-
nal Trojano Acquaviva, who had built a stand in front
1 See Francesco Cecconi, Roma antica e moderna, 1725, p. 669.
316 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
of his church of S. Giacomo degli Spagnuoli, hung with
red damask trimmed with bands of gold. Refreshments
were served, and the royal guests took such pleasure in
the spectacle that twice again they appeared at that same
balcony before the season was over, on August 25 and Sep-
The young Prince Charles was allowed to see the Lago
for the first time in 1727, August 4. The following year,
taking advantage of the absence of his mother, Charles
amused himself by throwing half-pennies l into the water
and watching the struggles of the young beggars to se-
cure a share of the meagre bounty, " cosa di poca decenza
per un figlio di Re." I find the last mention of their
presence in 1731, in the balcony of Cardinal Corsini, whose
pastry-cooks and butlers had been at work for three days
and nights in preparing the supper-tables.
The Lago is thus described by de la Lande in his " Voy-
age en Italic dans les Annees 1765 et 1766," v. p. Ill :
" La grande quantite d'eau, que donnent ces trois f ontaines
[of the Piazza Navona] procurent en ete un spectacle fort
singulier, et fort divertissant. Tous les dimanches du mois
d'aout, apres les vepres, on ferme les issues des bassins.
L'eau se repand dans la place, qui est un pen concave, en
forme de coquille. Dans 1'espace de deux heures elle est
inondee sur presque toute sa longueur, et il y a vers le mi-
lieu deux ou trois pieds d'eau. On vient alors se promener
fen carrosse tout autour de la place. Les chevaux marchent
dans Feau ; et la fraicheur s'en communique a ceux meme,
qui sont dans la voiture. Les fenetres de la place sont
couvertes de spectateurs. On croirait voir une naumachie
1 The " mezzi bajocchi " were coined for the first time in 1611, by Pope Paul
2 The criticism is by Valesio.
K* ri*t*,*,\Ji,.* />,. Pwzgci wcuvorui nut
i ' Ob disco, c Fontana-nj -^lltrc- Fenfanc-g- Chiesa, cti tf-Acj.
allaa ata, jolitc
nes c, c PaLi
THE LAGO DI P
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 317
antique. J'ai vu le palais du Cardinal Santobono Caracciolo
rempli ces jours la de la plus belle compagnie de Rome.
II faisoit lui-meme les honneurs de ses balcons par ses
manieres nobles, et engageantes, auxquelles il joignoit les
refraichissemens les plus fins. Autrefois on passoit la nuit
a la place Navone. On y soupoit, on y faisoit des con-
certs. Mais Clement XIII. a proscrit tous les plaisirs. Des
FAve Maria on commence a desecher la place. II arrive
quelque fois des accidens a cette espece de spectacle. Des
chevaux s'abattent, et si Ton n'est pas tres-prompt a les
degager, ils se noyent. C'est ce que j'ai vu arriver aux
chevaux du prince Barberini en 1765. Mais quand on
suit la file avec moderation, Ton n'est gueres expose* a cet
inconvenient. L'eau ne vient pas au dela des moyeux de
petites roues dans 1'endroit ou les carrosses se promenent."
In Sir Alexander Dick's "Travels in Italy" (1736),
printed in " Curiosities from a Scots Charta Chest," by the
Hon. Mrs. Atholl Forbes, there are many jottings about the
Duke of York as a boy of eleven : " The little young duke
. . . was very grave and behaved like a little philosopher.
I could not help thinking he had some resemblance to
his great-grandfather Charles the First. . . . The Duke of
York . . . danced very genteelly," etc.
Charles Edward, after the death of his father, lived in
retirement under the name of Count of Albany, 1 and, fol-
lowing the advice of France, married the Princess Louise
of Stolberg, his junior by thirty-two years. After they had
spent some time together in Tuscany, as guests of the
Grand Duke Leopold, the countess left the conjugal roof
and established herself in Rome under the guardianship
of her brother-in-law, Cardinal York. We shall deal no
1 Compare L'Ascanius moderne, ou Villustre aventurier, histoire de tout ce qui
est arrive de plus memorable et secret au prince Charles, etc., Edinbourg, 1763.
318 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
longer than is necessary with this lady ; she died in Flor-
ence in 1824, after many adventures, with which any one
who has read the life of Alfieri, the great Italian tragedian,
must necessarily be acquainted. Charles Edward died in
Florence on January 31, 1788. His body was removed
to Frascati, the episcopal see of his brother, and a " recog-
iiitio cadaveris " was performed before the entombment in
St. Peter's. The body was found clad in a royal robe, with
the crown, sceptre, sword, and royal signet-ring ; there were
also the insignia of the knighthoods of which the sover-
eign of Great Britain is the grand master de jure. The
cardinal did his best to obtain a state funeral in Rome ;
but the Pope refused, on the ground that Charles Edward
had never been recognized as a king by the Holy See.
The Duke of York, younger son of James III., was elected
cardinal on July 3, 1747, while in his twenty-second year. 1
Officially he was called the Cardinal Duke of York ; but
after the death of the elder brother he proclaimed himself
the legitimate sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland,
under the name of Henry IX. Within the walls of the
Muti palace, or of the episcopal residence at Frascati, he
claimed the title of Majesty, but among his colleagues of
the sacred college he was simply styled, " His Serene High-
ness Henry Benedict Mary Clement, Cardinal Duke of York."
Such a profusion of names was not calculated to please his
colleagues, who more than once found a way of showing
1 Compare Life of Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York, by Bern-
hard W. Kelly, London, Washbourne, 1899: "A good little work, which
might have been much better had its author gone to such accessible sources
as von Reumont's Grafin v. Albany, Mr. Lang's Pickle the Spy, and above
all James Browne's History of the Highlands. The last, a great but neglected
storehouse of Jacobite lore, contains more than a score of letters by, to, or
about the cardinal " (Athenaeum).
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
The episcopal church of Cardinal York. F rascal i.
The friendship between Pope Benedict XIV. and the
young prince of the church became rather strained in 1752.
It seems that the latter had taken an extraordinary fancy
for a certain Mgr. Lercari, his own " maestro di camera,"
while his father could not tolerate his presence. Lercari's
dismissal was asked and obtained ; but the two friends
continued to meet almost daily, or else to communicate
by letters. Annoyed at this state of things, James III.
applied to the Pope for advice and help, with the result that
young Lercari was banished from Rome on the night of
July 19. The cardinal resented the measure as a personal
offence, and on the following night he left the paternal
home for Nocera. Benedict XIV. wrote several letters
pointing out how such an estrangement between father and
son, between Pope and cardinal, would give satisfaction to
320 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
their common foes on the other side of the Channel. After
five months of brooding the duke gave up his resentment,
and accepted Mgr. Millo as "maestro di camera." The
reconciliation, which took place on December 16, pleased
the court and the people beyond measure, because father
and son, king and cardinal, had won the good graces of
all classes of citizens by their charities and affable manners,
so different from the dignified gloom characteristic of the
Anglo-Saxon race abroad.
His nomination to the bishopric of Frascati, July 13,
1761, is the next important event we have to chronicle, as
it was the indirect cause of the destruction of one of the
noblest monuments of the old Latin civilization. In the
mean time there are some curious particulars to be called
to mind in connection with his residence at Frascati, the
diocese of which he governed for forty-three years. He
loved this residence so dearly that whenever he was called
to Rome to attend a consistory or a " Cappella Pontificia,"
more than once he killed his carriage-horses in his haste
to get back to Frascati. His banqueting hall was always
open to guests, and very often messengers were dispatched
to Rome on the fastest ponies to secure the delicacies of the
season. The members of his household were all hand-
some and imposing, their liveries superb. The library
of the local seminary contains still a valuable set of Eng-
lish standard works, and the cathedral many precious ves-
sels, the gift of this generous man. It is a pity that we
should be compelled to bring home to him an act of wanton
destruction, for which I can find no apology. 1
1 There is a fine portrait of the Cardinal by Pompeo Batoni in the National
Portrait Gallery. Sins of the Drunkard, a temperance tract by him, is read to
the present day, I believe, in every church of the diocese of Liverpool, twice
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Visitors to the Eternal City and students of its history
know how the beautiful Campagna is bounded towards the
south by the Alban Hills, the graceful outline of which cul-
minates in a peak 3130 feet high, which the ancients called
Mons Albanus, and moderns call Monte Cavo. On this
peak, visible from Latium, Etruria, Sabina, and Campania,
The Villa Conti at Frascati, for some time the residence of Cardinal York.
stood the venerable temple of Jupiter Latialis, erected by
Tarquinius Superbus as the meeting-place of the forty-seven
cities which formed the Latin confederation. The temple
was reached by a paved road which branched off from the
Via Appia at Ariccia, and crossing the great forest between
the lakes of Nemi and Alban o, reached the foot of the
peak in the vicinity of Rocca di Papa. The pavement of
this Via Triumphalis, trodden by the feet of Q. Minutius
Rufus, the conqueror of Liguria, of M. Claudius Marcellus,
the conqueror of Syracuse, of Julius Caesar, as dictator, etc.,
is in a marvellous state of preservation ; not so the temple of
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
Jupiter Optimus Maximus, which stood at the summit of
From a rare drawing of about 1650 in the Barberini
library we learn that the federal sanctuary stood, facing
The Via Triumphalis leading to the temple of Jupiter on the Mom Alhanus.
the south, in the middle of a platform enclosed and sup-
ported by a substructure of great blocks of tufa. Columns
of white marble, or of giallo antico, and marble blocks from
the cella of the god, inscribed with the " Fasti Feriarum
Latinarum," lay scattered over the sacred area, in the neigh-
borhood of which statues, bas-reliefs, and votive offerings
in bronze and terracotta were occasionally found. These
remains were, mercilessly destroyed in 1783 by Cardinal
York, to make use of the materials for the rebuilding of the
utterly uninteresting church and convent of the Passionist
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN HOME.
monks which he dedicated to the Holy Trinity on October
1 of the same year. This act of vandalism of the last of
the Stuarts was justly denounced by the Roman antiquaries,
and we wonder why so great an admirer of ancient art as
Pius VI. did not interfere to prevent it.
The temple was one of the national monuments of Italy,
and no profaning hand should have been allowed to remove
a single one of its stones. It was not necessary to be a stu-
dent or a philosopher to appreciate the importance of the
A view of the Monte Cavo.
place. " On the summit of Monte Cavo," writes an Eng-
lish visitor contemporary with these events, " it is impos-
sible not to experience sensations at once awful and delight-
ful ; the recollection of the important events which led the
masters of the world to offer up at this place their homage
to the Deity is assisted by the great quantity of laurel still
growing here." The same visitor saw in the garden of the
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
A view of the Roman wall in Northumberland.
convent " fragments of cornices of good sculpture ; and
when we were on the hill the masons were employed in
making a shell for holy water out of part of an antique
How often have I sat on one of the few blocks of stone
left on the historic peak to tell the tale of its past fortunes
and glory, wondering at the strange chain of events which
prompted a scion of the savage Picts to lay hands on the
very temple in which thanks had been offered to the Deity
for Roman victories and Roman conquests in the British
Isles ! When the Romans were raising their mighty ram-
parts to confine the Caledonian tribes within prescribed
boundaries, and cut them off, as it were, from the rest of
mankind ; when Agricola was building his nineteen forts,
A. D. 81, between the Forth and the Clyde ; when Lollius
Urbicus completed this line of defence, A. D. 144, by the
addition of a rampart and ditch between old Kirkpatrick
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
and Borrowstoness ; when Hadrian raised his wall and his
embankment, A. D. 120, between the Tyne and the Solway,
subsequently repaired by Septimius Severus, did they dream
that the day would come when one of the Picts yonder
would follow in their footsteps along the Via Triumphalis,
and wipe off from the face of the earth the temple of the
god to whom the conquering heroes had paid respect, and
presented votive offerings from the islands beyond the
There is another and more glaring instance of this strik-
ing irony of fate to be found in Rome itself. The palace
The gate of the Villa Mills on the Palatine, with the emblem of the Thistle.
of Augustus on the Palatine Hill, where the emperor lived
for forty years, kept in repair as a place of pilgrimage
down to the fall of the Empire, this most august of Roman
historical relics, after having been plundered in 1775 of its
contents by the Frenchman Rancoureuil, fell in 1820 into
the hands of Charles Mills, Esq. This Scotch gentleman
caused the Casino (built and painted by Raffaellino dal
Colle near and above the house of Augustus) to be recon-
326 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
structed in the Tudor style with Gothic battlements, and
raised two Chinese pagodas, painted in crimson, over the
exquisite bathrooms used by the founder of the Empire.
And for the branches of laurel and the " corona civica,"
which in accordance with a decree of the Senate orna-
mented the gates of the palace, Charles Mills substituted
the emblem of the Thistle.
The death of Cardinal York, which took place at ten p. M.
of July 13, 1807, was mourned by the population of the
diocese of Frascati as an irreparable loss. He had been
their good and generous pastor for half a century, he had
been cardinal for sixty years, he had been archpriest of
St. Peter's for fifty-six ; in his long career he had Avon the
good graces of every one, and made no enemies. The body
was removed to Rome and exposed in the main hall of the
Palazzo della Cancelleria. The funeral was celebrated on
the following Thursday, July 16, in the parish church of
S. Andrea della Valle, in the presence of Pius VII. and
the Sacred College. The same evening the coffin was re-
moved to St. Peter's, and placed in the crypts, near those of
his father and brother. The three last representatives of a
valiant and noble race, whose faults had been atoned by
long misfortunes, were thus reunited and laid to rest under
the mighty dome of the greatest temple ever raised for the
worship of the true God.
I need not dwell on the cenotaph raised to their memory
opposite that of Maria Clementina, nor on the well known
dedication REGI.E STIRPIS STVARDI.E POSTREMIS ! The
Duke of Sussex, sixth son of George III. and brother of
George IV. and William IV., who contributed fifty guineas
towards the erection of the memorial, was a special admirer
of the old cardinal, having been his neighbor for one whole
CENOTAPH OF THE STUARTS THE MOURNING ANGEL
SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME. 329
summer on the hills of Tusculum and Albano. 1 Kelly says
in connection with his visits : " It is said on good authority
that one of the brothers of George IV. took a journey to
Frascati, to receive in orthodox fashion from the hands of
Henry IX. the healing touch which had been denied to the
rulers of his own dynasty," and that knowing the cardinal's
pretence to a royal title, he, the son of George III., had not
hesitated to give it to him.
English describers of Rome are in the habit of quoting
with relish the well-known passage of Lord Mahon : " Be-
neath the unrivalled dome of St. Peter's lie mouldering the
remains of what was once a brave and gallant heart ; and a
stately monument from the chisel of Canova, and at the
charge, I believe, of the house of Hanover, 2 has since risen
to the memory of James III., Charles III., and Henry IX.,
kings of England, names which an Englishman can
scarcely read without a smile or a sigh." Lord Mahon
could have saved both his smiles and his sighs if he had
simply read with care the epitaph engraved on the monu-
ment, which says : " To James III., son of James II., King
of Great Britain, to Charles Edward, and Henry, Dean of
1 The Alban and Tusculan hills have always been in favor with the English
visitors to Rome since the eighteenth century, and there is no villa in that dis-
trict which might not be associated with an historical name. The Duke and
Duchess of Gloucester lived some months in the Villa Albani at Castel Gan-
dolfo, and the Duke of Sussex passed a whole summer at Grottaf errata, within
the diocese of the last of the Stuarts. Pius VI. gave a dinner to the duke in
the farmhouse of la Cecchignola, on the Via Ardeatina, where the venerable
old Pontiff used to go in the month of October, to amuse himself with the
Paretajo. The Paretajo consists of a set of very fine nets spread vertically
from tree to tree in a circular grove, in the centre of which flutter the decoy
birds. At the time of the great flights of migratory birds the catching of one
or two hundred of them in a single day is not a rare occurrence, if the Paretajo
is skillfully put up.
2 The monument was really erected at the expense of Pius VII.
330 SCOTTISH MEMORIALS IN ROME.
the Sacred College, Sons of James III., the last of the
Royal House of Stuart." Let us join, however, with Lord
Mahon in the prayer which is heard so often in Roman
funeral services : Peace be with them ! REQUIESCANT IN
AOKIPPA (Herodes), 218.
Alba Longa, 103.
Alban Hills, 329.
Alban volcanoes, 203, 321.
Alberti, Leon Battista, 206.
Alexander VI., Pope, 280-285.
Almo, river, 186.
Alphabet, early Roman, 21.
Annales Maximi, 66.
Anneus Gallio, brother of Seneca, 159.
Antemnae, 28, 96.
Arches : of Augustus, 2, 153 ; of M. Aure-
lius, 260 ; of Claudius, 260 ; of Fabius
Allobrogicus, 69, 153 ; of Septimius
Severus, 5 ; of Titus on the Summa
Sacra Via, 84, 229, 230 ; of Titus at the
Circus Maximus, 232.
Argaean altars, 8.
Artemis Taurica, 182.
Arundel, Sir Thomas, 272.
Arvales, brotherhood of the, 92, 95, 102 ;
records of, 102, 108 ; buildings of, 102-
Atta Navius, the augur, 36.
Atys, the Phrygian god, 185-188.
Augustine, the apostle of England, 294.
Augustus, 106, 200, 217.
Bandusia, spring of, 92.
Bankers ad lanum, 147.
Barracks, of the charioteers, 270 ; of the
Equites Singulares, 176, 180.
Basilica ^Emilia, 64, 132-147, 153.
Basilica Constantiniana, 32, 84, 87, 237.
Basilica Julia, 5, 72, 132, 135, 146, 280.
Basilicas around the Forum, 132.
Baths of Caracalla, 100.
Beelefarus, the Syrian god, 182.
Black Stone (Lapis Niger), 5.
Boni Giacomo, 5, 63, 74, 78.
Borghese, Marc' Antonio, 306.
Borghese museum of statuary, 306.
Borgia apartment in the Vatican, 285.
Borgia family, 282.
Borgo (Burg or Burgh), the Saxon quar-
Casdwalla, King of Essex, 264.
Caelestis Virgo, the Phrenician goddess,
Cselian Hill, 12.
Caere, 21, 22, 67.
Caesar Borgia, 282.
Calendar, Roman, 66, 68, 79, 112.
Campus ludaeorum, 248.
Campus Salinarum Romanarum, now
Cancelleria Palace, 271, 326.
Capitoline Hill, 12 ; Mithraea, 193, 196 ;
monument of Victor Emmanuel, 198;
Temple of Jupiter, 28, 72, 198, 241.
Caraffa, Cardinal Oliviero, 47.
Came, Sir Edward, 295.
Castel Gandolfo, 124.
Castel S. Pietro, 113.
Castelli, Cardinal Adriano, 279.
Castlemain, Earl of, 285, 291.
Catacombs of Ciriaca, 64 ; of Generosa,
116, 119 ; in the Vigna Salviucci, 165-
Cenotaph of Romulus, 2, 12, 31.
Charles Edward Stuart, 31 1-317.
Chimneys, first, in Rome, 276.
Christina, Queen of Sweden, 225, 291.
S. Adriano, 151.
S. Agnese, 142.
S. Agostino, 51.
S. Andrea degli Scozzesi, 300.
S. Andrea della Valle, 326.
S. Andrea delle Fratte, 300.
SS. Apostoli, 312-314.
S. Cecilia, 63, 295-298.
S. Clemente, 142, 193.
S. Flaviano, Montefiascone, 310.
S. Francesca Romana, 91.
S. Gregorio, 292.
St. John the Lateran, 37, 142, 174,
S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura, 64, 125.
S. Lorenzo in Damaso, 48, 270.
S. Maria della Consolazione, 254.
S. Maria di Costantinopoli, 300.
S. Maria in Publicolis, 71.
S. Maria in Via Lata, 179.
S. Maria Maggiore, 142, 174.
S. Maria Nuova, 91.
S. Marina, Ardea, 111.
S. Martina, 43, 144.
S. Paolino alia Regota, 159.
St. Paul, 138, 141, 173, 253.
St. Peter, 142, 174, 2(54. :J14.
S. Pietro in Viuculis, 142, 215.
S. Sabina, 131.
S. Sebastiano, 104.
St. Thoma-s a Becket, 272.
Civita Lavinia, 127.
Claudia the Vestal, 62, 66.
Clement XL, Pope, 309, 311.
Clivus Sacrae Vise, 82, 84.
Cloaca Maxima, 26, 27, 133.
Coenred, King of Mercia, 267.
Collars of slaves and dogs. 145.
Columbaria in the Licinian Gardens, 2.
Columna Duilia, 19.
Columna Julia, 19, 79.
Columna Maenia, 9.
Columna of the Virgin Mary, on the Es-
Comitium, 5-39 ; fountains of, 40.
Commentarii Sacrorum, 56.
Conservator! Palace, 36, 63, 71.
Constantine the Great, 32.
Crashaw, Richard, 273.
Curia, Senate House, 5, 13, 40.
Curia Calabra, 66.
Curia Hostilia, 10.
Cybele, the Great Mother of the Gods, 182.
Damasus, Pope, 118.
Dea Dia, the goddess of the Arvales, 102.
Deification in Rome, 80.
Diana Nemorensis, 212.
Diocletian, 5, 31.
Domitius Corbulo, 308.
Domus Publica, 55, 78.
Druidism in Rome, 15.
English memorials in Rome, 260-298.
English ambassadors, 279.
English coins, 268.
English college, 269.
English palaces, 279.
Epona, the goddess of stables, 181.
Equites Singulares, 176, 178 ; barracks of,
Eugenius IV., Pope, 151.
Fagan, Robert, 302.
Fascie benedette, 311.
Fasti consulares et triumphales, 66.
Fatse, the Fates, 182.
Fires : of 210 B. c., 132 ; of 1823 A. D.,
143 ; of Alaric (A. D. 410), 40 ; of Cari-
nus (A. D. 283), 5, 6, 138 ; of Commodus
(A. D. 191), 85, 234 ; of the Gauls (390
B. c.), 10, 22, 36, 55 ; of Nero (A. D.
65), 138; of Robert Guiscard (A. D.
1081), 43, 72 ; of Titus (A. D. 80), 138.
Foot, Attic, Etruscan, Roman, 29.
Forum Boarium, 15.
Forum Julium, 5.
Forum of Peace, 234, 238.
Forum Romanum, 1-52, 132.
Fountains : of Bandusia, 93 ; of the Cam-
po Vaccino, 44 ; of the Comitium, 40 ;
of Juturna, 53, 58 ; of the Quirinal, 47.
Frangipane family, 252.
Frascati, Bishopric of Cardinal York. :! 1 . >-
Gabii, excavations at, 306.
Gabinius Vettius Probianus, 146.
Galen, his offices on the Clivus Sacer, 234.
Gardens: of ^Elius Lamia, 219-225; of
Agrippina the Elder, 267, 283 ; of Car-
dinal Carpi, 88 ; of la Farnesina, (59 ;
of the Licinian family, 2 ; of Cardinal
Alessandro de' Medici, 88 ; of Eurialo
Gemonian steps, 133.
Ghetto of ancient and modern Rome,
Goritz, Johan (Coricitis), 51.
Granius Labeo, 163.
Grove of the Dea Dia, 102.
Hamilton, Gavin, Abbot, 300.
Hamilton, Gavin, painter and excavator..
Harbor of Rome (Ostia, Portus), 175.
Hastae Martis in the Regia, 78.
Henry VII., King, 280, 285.
Henzen, Wilhelm, 108.
Hercules Magusanus, 182.
Hermse, terminal stones, 98.
Heroon of Romulus, 2.
Honesta missio, 179.
Horace's farm at Digentia, 92.
Horrea Piperataria, 84, 237.
Horrea Plumbaria, 264.
Horti Lamiani, 219.
Hostelries in Rome, 274.
Houses : of Julius Caesar, 78 ; of Nurni-
cius Pica Caesianus, 63 ; of St. Paul,
159; of the Valerii, 100; of the Ves-
tals, 58, 268.
Howard, Cardinal, 309.
Hutten, Ulrich von, 51.
Ina, King of Essex, 267.
Innocent XL, Pope, 288.
James III., Stuart, 309.
Jenkins, Thomas, 302, 306.
Jerome, St., 175.
Jews, memorials in Rome, 215-259 ; ceme-
teries, 244, 249 ; embassy to Caligula.
219, 225; doctors, 254; dress, 258;
quarter in ancient Rome, 159, 241, 249.
255 ; synagogue at Pompeii, 217 ; syna-
gogues in Rome, 244.
Julia Irene Arista, ~24->.
Julius Caesar, 78.
Julius Obseqiiens. 77.
Lake of Nemi, 203-205 ; ships in, 20(5.
Lamian Gardens, 211).
Lansdowne gallery of statues, 303.
Lapis Niger (Black Stone), 5.
Lateran, collection of bronzes, 36 ; execu-
tions at the Wolf, 38.
Libertini, a Jewish caste, 217.
Ligorio, Pirro, 75.
Lions at the tomb of Romulus, 8, 14.
Lodges for secret meetings, 17(5.
Lucina, the Roman matron, 163, 168.
Lunghezzina, farm of, 192.
Macellum Livise, 142.
Magic Gate, Villa Palombara, 227.
Marchi, Francesco de', 207.
Mars, pedestal in the Comitium, 31 ;
spears of, 78.
Mary Clementina, Queen of James III.,
Matres, Matronae, 182.
Maxentius, Emperor, 5, 31, 144.
Mettius Curtius, 17.
Milton, John, 272.
Minerva Medica, 2.
Mithraic caves or lodges, 192 ; at Ostia,
193 ; under the Capitoline Hill, 193 ; at
Mithraic bas-reliefs, 194-196.
Mithraic degrees, 196.
Mons Aflianus, 95.
Moris Albanus, Monte Cavo, 15, 321-323.
Museum, National, at Naples, 112.
Museum, Vatican, 101, 107, 128, 306.
Nemi, temple of Diana at, 202-204 ; lake
of, 203-205 ; ships, 205-210.
Noreia, the goddess of Noricum, 182.
Nova Via, 58.
Numicius, river, 13.
Off a. King of Essex, 266.
Ostia, sacred field of Cybele, 186-191 ;
house of ^Egrilii, 193, 196; imperial
Palatine Hill, 12, 26, 27 ; Argaean altar,
8 ; Domus Publica, 55, 325 ; gates, 96 ;
hut and tomb of the Cincii, 96 ; Mun-
dus, 12; residence of the Salii, 78;
Roma Quadrata, 12 ; Villa Mills, 325 ;
della Cancelleria, 271, 326.
dei Conservator!, 36, 63, 71.
Muti Savorelli, 309.
Palombara, Marquis of, 226 ; his villa on
the Esquiline, 22.">.
Pantanello, Hadrian's villa, 304.
Pasquino, torso of, 47.
Paul the Apostle, 138, 174.
Paul IV., Pope, 258.
Peter's pence, 268.
Piazza Navona, Lake of, 315-317.
Pillar by the grave of Romulus, 9, 19.
Pius VI., Pope, 101.
Poli, Donato, 48.
Pompeia Paulina, wife of Seneca, 161.
Porticus Margaritaria, 5, 32, 86.
Porticus Tellurensis, 142.
Quirinal Hill, 12.
Regia, 5, 66-77 ; spears of Mars, 78.
Roccagiovine, Horace's farm at, 93.
Romulus, heroon of, 2, 8, 12, 31.
Rostra Vetera, 8.
Sabadius Deus, 182.
Sacks of Rome : A. u. 410, 239 ; A. j>.
455, 239 ; A. D. 846, 172 ; A. D. 1084,
250 ; A. D. 1527, 172.
Sacra Via, 53-91, 146.
Sacrifices, human, 14.
Sacrificial offerings at the grave of Romu-
Sacrificial wells in the Comitium, 18.
Sarfati, Samuel, a Jewish doctor, 255.
Savelli palace at Albano, 310.
Saxa Rubra, battle of, 39.
Saxon quarter in Rome, 267.
Scottish memorials in Rome, 299-330.
Senate House, 5, 35, 40.
Seneca, M. Anneus, 159-162.
Septa Julia, 159.
Septimontium, 12, 26.
Serpents of Lanuvium, 124, 126.
Shepherd, John, founder of English Col-
Ships in the Lake of Nemi, 205-210.
Simon, the magician, 89.
Sixtus V., Pope, 258.
Spears of Mars in the Regia, 77.
Spinon, river, 13, 26.
Stabula Factionum Circensium, 270-272.
Statues : of Alessandro Farnese, 88 ; of
S. Anna by Sansovius, 51 ; of Atys,
188; of David by Michelangelo, 44;
of Diana Nemorensis, 204 ; in the
Forum of Peace, 234, 239; of Gabii,
306 ; of Ganymede by Leochares, 239 ;
of Hermaphrodite. 63 ; of the Lamian
Gardens, 221 ; of Marforio, 43 ; of Nile
and Tiber. 43 ; of Pasquino, 47 ; of the
Spada Palace, 242 ; of the Vatican Mu-
seum, 306 ; of Venus Clotho, 187 ; of a
Vestal, 62 ; of the Villa Borghese, 306.
Stele by the grave of Romulus, 9, 20.
Stolberg, Louise of, wife of Charles Ed-
Stuarts, the last of the, in Rome, 308-330.
Sulevae, sylvan goddesses, 182.
Synagogue of Corinth, 159.
Tabernse novae, 147.
Tarpeian Rock, 199.
Tasso's Oak at S. Onofrio, 124.
Bona Dea, 95.
Castor and Pollux, 2.
Dea Dia, 102-118.
Diana Nemorensis, 15, 202-215.
Julius Caesar, 2, 5, 80, 153.
Juno, at Gabii, 307.
Juno Lanuvina, 127.
Jupiter Capitolinus, 28, 72, 198, 241.
Jupiter Latiaris, 15, 95, 321.
Jupiter Stator, 230.
Peace (so called) (Basilica Nova),
Peace, 233, 237.
Romulus, son of Maxentius, 32, 39,
Sacra Urbis, 240.
Venus and Rome, 5, 34.
Terremape in the valley of the Po, 29,
Tiber, 170, 241.
Tombs : of King Caedwalla, 261 ; of the
Charioteer in the Forum, 19 ; of Queen
Mary Clementina, 314 ; under the con-
fession at St. Paul's, 167 ; of Q. Granius
Labeo, 163 ; Julia Irene Arista, 243 ;
of the Maccabees, 215 ; of Numa Pom-
pilius, 22 ; of St. Paul, 163, 172 ; of St.
Peter, 173 ; of Peter, son of Leo (Pier-
leone), 253; of Romulus, 22-31; of
Seneca, the philosopher, 162 ; of the
Stuarts, 326-330 ; of the Via Trium-
Torre Oolombara, excavations at, 305.
Trastevere, 241, 243.
Triopium of Herodes Atticus, 32, 120.*
Toutates, a barbarian god, 182.
Turris Chartularia, 230.
Umbilicus Romae, 13.
Veii, 10, 29, 96.
Vestal Virgins, 56, 58, 107,
Via Appia, 33, 156, 160, 242, 305, 321.
Via Campana, 103.
Via Collatina, 192.
Via Flaminia, 260.
Via Labicana, 33.
Via Latina, 242.
Via Laurentina, 33, 97.
Via Nomentana, 243.
Via Nova Antoniniana, 86.
Via Ostiensis, 138, 164, 168, 170, 186.
Via PraBnestina, 307.
Via Tiburtina, 64.
Via Triumphalis, 169.
Via Triumphalis on Monte Cavo, 321.
Villas: of Augustus at Velletri, 446;
Borghese, 301, 306 ; of Brutus at Ti-
voli, 100; of Hadrian, 302-305; of
Herodes Atticus, 120 ; of Maxentius on
the Via Appia, 32 ; of Maxentius on
the Via Labicana, 32, 144 ; Palombara
on the Esquiline, 225, 227 ; of Passi-
enus Crispus at Tusculum, 93 ; of Sen-
eca on the Appian Way, 160 ; of Car-
dinal York at Frascati, 321.
Vulcanal, 16, 19.
Wolf, bronze, 34, 36.
Woods, sacred, in Rome, 119.
York, Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal
Duke of, 310, 318-326.
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